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Journal Article

Attention modulates neural measures associated with beat perception (Accepted manuscript)


Henry,  Molly J.       
Research Group Neural and Environmental Rhythms, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society;
The Brain and Mind Institute, University of Western Ontario ;
Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario;

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Gibbings, A., Henry, M. J., Cruse, D., Stojanoski, B., & Grahn, J. A. (2023). Attention modulates neural measures associated with beat perception (Accepted manuscript). European Journal of Neuroscience: European Neuroscience Association. doi:10.1111/ejn.15962.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000C-C0DD-2
A growing body of evidence suggests that steady-state evoked potentials may be a useful measure of beat perception, particularly when obtaining traditional, explicit measures of beat perception is difficult, such as with infants or non-human animals. Although attending to a stimulus is not necessary for most traditional applications of steady-state evoked potentials, it is unknown how attention affects steady-state evoked potentials that arise in response to beat perception. Additionally, most applications of steady-state evoked potentials to measure beat perception have used repeating rhythms or real music. Therefore, it is unclear how the steady-state response relates to the robust beat perception that occurs with non-repeating rhythms. Here, we used electroencephalography to record participants’ brain activity as they listened to non-repeating musical rhythms while either attending to the rhythms or while distracted by a concurrent visual task. Non-repeating auditory rhythms elicited steady-state evoked potentials at perceived beat frequencies (perception was validated in a separate sensorimotor synchronization task) that were larger when participants attended to the rhythms compared to when they were distracted by the visual task. Therefore, although steady-state evoked potentials appear to index beat perception to non-repeating musical rhythms, this technique may be limited to when participants are known to be attending to the stimulus.