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Rhythmic movement: the role of expectancy and skill in event and emergent timing

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posted on 2022-03-28, 12:19 authored by Thenille Braun Janzen
Recent investigations suggest that rhythmic movements rely on two distinct timingsystems: event and emergent timing. Event timing is based on an explicit internalrepresentation of the temporal interval marked by clear perceptual detectible events, whereasemergent timing is derived from the dynamics of smooth and continuous movements. Crucialaspects of the distinction between these mechanisms remain unclear. This thesis investigatesthe role of expectancy and skill in the internal representation of time in event and emergenttiming. Chapter 1 introduces the theoretical framework that supports the differentiationbetween event and emergent timing mechanisms and presents the hypotheses that were tested.Chapter 2 describes a series of five experiments that investigated the role of expectancythrough the examination of the effect of a single unexpected perturbation of feedback content(e.g. pitch, timbre, intensity) on timing of finger tapping. Chapter 3 expands this question byinvestigating the effect of unexpected auditory perturbations on two types of timedmovements: finger tapping and circle drawing. The role of expertise and training on motortiming is the subject of discussion of Chapters 4 to 6, where a total of 4 experiments tested theeffect of expertise and music training on accuracy of finger tapping and circle drawing tasks.More specifically, Chapter 4 compares accuracy levels of experts in movement-basedactivities (music and sports) with non experts. Chapters 5 and 6 focus on the effect of musictraining on event and emergent timing in students of 10 to 14 years of age. Finally, Chapter 7reviews and discusses the main findings of this body of work with respect to current theoriesof timing and movement. Foremost, these data challenge current models of humanmovements controlled by event and emergent timing mechanisms demonstrating thatexpectancy and training are crucial in determining the timing strategy and the type ofexpectancy mechanisms adopted to perform distinct rhythmic movements.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction to timing of rhythmic movements : examining the role of expectancy and skill in event and emergent timing -- Chapter 2. Understanding the role of feedback content in event timing -- Chapter 3. An examination of the role of auditory feedback in event and emergent timing -- Chapter 4. Timing and expertise : evaluating the effect of movement-based expertise (sports and music) on emergent timing and event timing mechanisms -- Chapter 5. Understanding the role of music training in the development of timing skills in children and adolescents -- Chapter 6. An examination of the role of formal music training in the development of timing skills : a case study -- Chapter 7. Conclusion.


Includes bibliographical references Thesis by publication.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Psychology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Ronald Ranvaud

Additional Supervisor 1

Bill Thompson


Copyright Thenille Braun Janzen 2014. Copyright disclaimer:




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