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Psychol Res. 2011 May;75(3):227-42. doi: 10.1007/s00426-010-0301-8. Epub 2010 Jul 20.

Perception-production relationships and phase correction in synchronization with two-interval rhythms.

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Haskins Laboratories, 300 George Street, New Haven, CT 06511-6624, USA.


Two experiments investigated the effects of interval duration ratio on perception of local timing perturbations, accuracy of rhythm production, and phase correction in musicians listening to or tapping in synchrony with cyclically repeated auditory two-interval rhythms. Ratios ranged from simple (1:2) to complex (7:11, 5:13), and from small (5:13 = 0.38) to large (6:7 = 0.86). Rhythm production and perception exhibited similar ratio-dependent biases: rhythms with small ratios were produced with increased ratios, and timing perturbations in these rhythms tended to be harder to detect when they locally increased the ratio than when they reduced it. The opposite held for rhythms with large ratios. This demonstrates a close relation between rhythm perception and production. Unexpectedly, however, the neutral "attractor" was not the simplest ratio (1:2 = 0.50) but a complex ratio near 4:7 (= 0.57). Phase correction in response to perturbations was generally rapid and did not show the ratio-dependent biases observed in rhythm perception and production. Thus, phase correction operates efficiently and autonomously even in synchronization with rhythms exhibiting complex interval ratios.

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