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Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 5;6:20612. doi: 10.1038/srep20612.

Individual Differences in Rhythmic Cortical Entrainment Correlate with Predictive Behavior in Sensorimotor Synchronization.

Author information

Institute of Neuroscience (Ions), Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium.
International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research (BRAMS), Université de Montréal, Canada.
The MARCS Institute, Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia.
Music Cognition &Action Group, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive &Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany.


The current study aims at characterizing the mechanisms that allow humans to entrain the mind and body to incoming rhythmic sensory inputs in real time. We addressed this unresolved issue by examining the relationship between covert neural processes and overt behavior in the context of musical rhythm. We measured temporal prediction abilities, sensorimotor synchronization accuracy and neural entrainment to auditory rhythms as captured using an EEG frequency-tagging approach. Importantly, movement synchronization accuracy with a rhythmic beat could be explained by the amplitude of neural activity selectively locked with the beat period when listening to the rhythmic inputs. Furthermore, stronger endogenous neural entrainment at the beat frequency was associated with superior temporal prediction abilities. Together, these results reveal a direct link between cortical and behavioral measures of rhythmic entrainment, thus providing evidence that frequency-tagged brain activity has functional relevance for beat perception and synchronization.

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