To hear the beat, your brain may think about moving to it | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

SCIENCE NEWS NEEDS YOU

Support nonprofit journalism

Subscribe now


News

To hear the beat, your brain may think about moving to it

A brain region linked to movement is integral to recognizing rhythms

By
10:49am, February 16, 2018
brain

FEELING OFFBEAT  Briefly disrupting a brain region involved in planning movement with a magnetic pulse hinders a person’s ability to follow a rhythmic beat. (The black square in this heat map indicates the site of highest pulse stimulation.)

If you’ve ever felt the urge to tap along to music, this research may strike a chord.

Recognizing rhythms doesn’t involve just parts of the brain that process sound — it also relies on a brain region involved with movement, researchers report online January 18 in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. When an area of the brain that plans movement was disabled temporarily, people struggled to detect changes in rhythms.

The study is the first to connect humans’ ability to detect rhythms to the posterior parietal cortex, a brain region associated with planning body movements as well as higher-level functions such as paying attention and perceiving three dimensions.

“When you’re listening to a rhythm, you’re making predictions about how long the time interval is between the beats and where those sounds will fall,” says coauthor Jessica

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More Science Ticker posts

From the Nature Index Paid Content