Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Repetition and a Beat-Based Timing Framework: What Determines the Duration of Intervals Between Repetitions of a Tapping Pattern?

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Timing & Time Perception

The production of speech and music are two human behaviors that involve complex hierarchical structures with implications for timing. Timing constraints may arise from a human proclivity to form ‘self-organized’ metrical structures for perceived and produced event sequences, especially those that involve repetition. To test whether the propensity to organize events in time arises even for simple motor behaviors, we developed a novel experimental tapping paradigm investigating whether participants use the beat structure of a tapped pattern to determine the interval between repetitions. Participants listened to target patterns of 3, 4, or 5 events, occurring at one of four periodic rates, and tapped out the pattern 11 times, creating 10 inter-pattern intervals (IPIs), which participants chose freely. The ratio between mean IPI and mean inter-tap interval (ITI) was used to measure the beat-relatedness of the overall timing pattern; the closer this ratio is to an integer, the more likely the participant was timing the IPI to match a multiple of the target pattern beat. Results show that a beat-based strategy contributes prominently, although not universally, to IPI duration. Moreover, participants preferred interval cycles with even numbers of beats, especially cycles with four beats. Finally, the IPI/ITI ratio was affected by rate, with more beats of silence for the IPI at faster rates. These findings support the idea that people can generate a larger global timing structure when engaging in the repetition of simple periodic motor patterns, and use that structure to govern the timing of those motor events.

Affiliations: 1: Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA ; 2: Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA, USA ; 3: The Center for Science and Society, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA ; 4: Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Aschersleben G. (2002). "Temporal control of movements in sensorimotor synchronization". Brain Cogn. , 48, 6679.
2. Bååth R.,, & Madison G. (2012). "The subjective difficulty of tapping to a slow beat". Paper presented at the 12th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, Thessaloniki, Greece.
3. Benjamini Y.,, & Hochberg Y. (1995). "Controlling the false discovery rate: A practical and powerful approach to multiple testing". J. R. Stat. Soc. B , 57, 289300.
4. Boersma P.,, & Weenink D. (2014). Praat: Doing phonetics by computer [Computer program]. Version 5.3.83, retrieved 16 August 2014 from
5. Bolton T. L. (1894). Rhythm. Am. J. Psychol. , 6, 145238.
6. Brochard R.,, Abecasis D., Potter D.,, Ragot R.,, & Drake C. (2003). "The ‘ticktock’ of our internal clock: Direct brain evidence of subjective accents in isochronous sequences". Psychol. Sci. , 14, 362366.
7. Cummins F. (2012). "Looking for rhythm in speech". Empir. Musicol. Rev. , 7, 2835.
8. Cummins F.,, & Port R. F. (1998). "Rhythmic constraints on stress timing in English". J. Phon. , 26, 145171.
9. Deutsch D.,, Henthorn T.,, & Lapidis R. (2011). "Illusory transformation from speech to song". J. Acoust. Soc. Am. , 129, 22452252.
10. Di Luca M.,, & Rhodes D. (2016). "Optimal perceived timing: Integrating sensory information with dynamically updated expectations". Sci. Rep. , 6, 28563.
11. Falk S.,, Rathcke T.,, & Dalla Bella S. (2014). "When speech sounds like music". J. Exp. Psychol. Hum. Percept. Perform. , 40, 14911506.
12. Grahn J. A.,, & McAuley J. D. (2009). "Neural bases of individual differences in beat perception". NeuroImage , 47, 18941903.
13. Keller P. E.,, & Repp B. H. (2005). "Staying offbeat: Sensorimotor syncopation with structured and unstructured auditory sequences". Psychol.l Res. , 69, 292 309.
14. London J. (2002). "Cognitive constraints on metric systems: Some observations and hypotheses". Music Percept , 19, 529550.
15. Manning F. C.,, & Schutz M. (2016). "Trained to keep a beat: Movement-related enhancements to timing perception in percussionists and non-percussionists". Psychol. Res. , 80, 532542.
16. Manning F. C.,, Harris J.,, & Schutz M. (2017). "Temporal prediction abilities are mediated by motor effector and rhythmic expertise". Exp. Brain Res., 235, 861871.
17. Miyake Y.,, Onishi Y.,, & Pöppel E. (2004). "Two types of anticipation in synchronization tapping". Acta Neurobiol. Exp. (Wars.) , 64, 415426.
18. Nozaradan S.,, Peretz I.,, Missal M.,, & Mouraux A. (2011). "Tagging the neuronal entrainment to beat and meter". J. Neurosci. , 31, 1023410240.
19. Palmer C.,, & Krumhansl C. L. (1990). "Mental representations for musical meter". J. Exp. Psychol. Hum. Percept. Perform. , 16, 728741.
20. Parncutt R. (1994). "A perceptual model of salience and metrical accent in musical rhythms". Music Percept. , 11, 409464.
21. Povel D.,, & Essens P. (1985). "Perception of temporal patterns". Music Percept. , 2, 411440.
22. Repp B. H. (1995). "Detectability of duration and intensity increments in melody tones: A partial connection between music perception and performance". Percept. Psychophys. , 57, 12171232.
23. Repp B. H. (2006). "Rate limits of sensorimotor synchronization". Adv. Cogn. Psychol., 2, 163181.
24. Repp B. H. (2007). "Perceiving the numerosity of rapidly occurring auditory events in metrical and nonmetrical contexts". Percept. Psychophys. , 69, 529543.
25. Repp B. H. (2010). "Do metrical accents create illusory phenomenal accents?" Atten. Percept. Psychophys. , 72, 13901403.
26. Repp B. H.,, & Doggett R. (2007). "Tapping to a very slow beat: A comparison of musicians and non-musicians". Music Percept. , 24, 367376.
27. Repp B. H.,, & Su Y. (2013). "Sensorimotor synchronization: A review of recent research (2006–2012)". Psychonom. Bull.Rev. , 20, 403452.
28. Snyder J.,, & Krumhansl C. L. (2001). "Tapping to ragtime: Cues to pulse finding". Music Percept. , 18, 455489.

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Timing & Time Perception — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation