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Journal Article

Audiovisual integration of rhythm in musicians and dancers


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

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Nguyen, T., Lagacé-Cusiac, R., Everling, J. C., Henry, M. J., & Grahn, J. A. (2024). Audiovisual integration of rhythm in musicians and dancers. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics. doi:10.3758/s13414-024-02874-x.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000F-1F7F-2
Music training is associated with better beat processing in the auditory modality. However, it is unknown how rhythmic training that emphasizes visual rhythms, such as dance training, might affect beat processing, nor whether training effects in general are modality specific. Here we examined how music and dance training interacted with modality during audiovisual integration and synchronization to auditory and visual isochronous sequences. In two experiments, musicians, dancers, and controls completed an audiovisual integration task and an audiovisual target-distractor synchronization task using dynamic visual stimuli (a bouncing figure). The groups performed similarly on the audiovisual integration tasks (Experiments 1 and 2). However, in the finger-tapping synchronization task (Experiment 1), musicians were more influenced by auditory distractors when synchronizing to visual sequences, while dancers were more influenced by visual distractors when synchronizing to auditory sequences. When participants synchronized with whole-body movements instead of finger-tapping (Experiment 2), all groups were more influenced by the visual distractor than the auditory distractor. Taken together, this study highlights how training is associated with audiovisual processing, and how different types of visual rhythmic stimuli and different movements alter beat perception and production outcome measures. Implications for the modality appropriateness hypothesis are discussed.