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Lost in the Rhythm: The Effects of Rhythm on Interpersonal Coordination

Martin Lang, from the Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion at Masaryk University, will be presenting the results of a recent experiment on rhythm and coordination. The talk will be held at the Centre for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience (DNC building) on Thursday, October 3, at 11.00-12.00, as part of the Music in the Brain seminars.

Info about event


Thursday 3 October 2013,  at 11:00 - 12:00


Aarhus DK, Centre for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, DNC building, Nørrebrogade 44, bygn 10


Centre for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience

Music is a natural human expression, omnipresent across all cultures and dating back at least 30,000 years in history to the first musical instrument. Due to its inherent connection with movement, and a frequent accompaniment to human rituals and ceremonies, music is an important topic for understanding human sensory-motor integration and, importantly, interpersonal interaction. In the present study we set out to investigate the influence of rhythm on subsequent interpersonal motor co-ordination. Specifically, we measured various behaviour parameters of individuals performing a joint-action task after exposure to either rhythmic or arrhythmic auditory stimuli. By measuring a combination of performance time, movement kinematics, attitudes towards partners, and heart rate, we were able to investigate the effects of rhythm on interpersonal behaviour at the behavioural, cognitive and physiological level. The study presents experimental evidence for an extended effect of rhythm on interpersonal motor-coupling, and a demonstration that such an effect persists also in a different context. This evidence might help to explain the persistence of rhythm in all human cultures and its widespread use in ceremonies, rituals and gatherings.