A child’s success in school relies on their ability to quickly grasp language and reading skills, the foundations of which are acquired even before entering a formal classroom setting. Previous studies in preschoolers have begun to establish relationships linking beat synchronization, preliteracy skills, and auditory processing. Beat synchronization involves the integration of sensorimotor systems with auditory and cognitive circuits and, therefore calls on many of the same neural networks as language. Using a drumming task, we analyzed the relationship between children’s ability to maintain an isochronous beat with preliteracy skills and frequency following responses (FFRs) in over 150 preschoolers. We show that preschoolers who performed well on the beat synchronization task outscored their peers on all preliteracy measures and had more robust FFRs. Furthermore, the good synchronizers experienced less degradation of certain FFR measures when listening in noise. Together, our results are consistent with the view that rhythm, preliteracy, and auditory processing are interconnected during early childhood.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Neuroscience