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Journal Article

Macaque monkeys and humans sample temporal regularities in the acoustic environment


Kotz,  Sonja A.       
Department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology, Maastricht University, the Netherlands;
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Criscuolo, A., Schwartze, M., Prado, L., Ayala, Y., Merchant, H., & Kotz, S. A. (2023). Macaque monkeys and humans sample temporal regularities in the acoustic environment. Progress in Neurobiology, 229: 102502. doi:10.1016/j.pneurobio.2023.102502.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000D-73FD-5
Many animal species show comparable abilities to detect basic rhythms and produce rhythmic behavior. Yet, the capacities to process complex rhythms and synchronize rhythmic behavior appear to be species-specific: vocal learning animals can, but some primates might not. This discrepancy is of high interest as there is a putative link between rhythm processing and the development of sophisticated sensorimotor behavior in humans. Do our closest ancestors show comparable endogenous dispositions to sample the acoustic environment in the absence of task instructions and training?

We recorded EEG from macaque monkeys and humans while they passively listened to isochronous equitone sequences. Individual- and trial-level analyses showed that macaque monkeys’ and humans’ delta-band neural oscillations encoded and tracked the timing of auditory events. Further, mu- (8-15 Hz) and beta-band (12-20 Hz) oscillations revealed the superimposition of varied accentuation patterns on a subset of trials. These observations suggest convergence in the encoding and dynamic attending of temporal regularities in the acoustic environment, bridging a gap in the phylogenesis of rhythm cognition.