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Journal Article

The relation between rhythm processing and cognitive abilities during child development: The role of prediction


Degé,  Franziska       
Department of Music, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society;

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Frischen, U., Degé, F., & Schwarzer, G. (2022). The relation between rhythm processing and cognitive abilities during child development: The role of prediction. Frontiers in Psychology, 13: 920513. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2022.920513.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-4A72-2
Rhythm and meter are central elements of music. From the very beginning, children are responsive to rhythms and acquire increasingly complex rhythmic skills over the course of development. Previous research has shown that the processing of musical rhythm is not only related to children’s music-specific responses but also to their cognitive abilities outside the domain of music. However, despite a lot of research on that topic, the connections and underlying mechanisms involved in such relation are still unclear in some respects. In this article, we aim at analyzing the relation between rhythmic and cognitive-motor abilities during childhood and at providing a new hypothesis about this relation. We consider whether predictive processing may be involved in the relation between rhythmic and various cognitive abilities and hypothesize that prediction as a cross-domain process is a central mechanism building a bridge between rhythm processing and cognitive-motor abilities. Further empirical studies focusing on rhythm processing and cognitive-motor abilities are needed to precisely investigate the links between rhythmic, predictive, and cognitive processes.