Friday, June 03, 2005

Bounce those babies!

In the latest issue of Science, Jessica Phillips-Silver and Laurel Trainor write about how movement affects the perception of rhythm by infants. I cannot get my off-campus proxy to work so I can access the direct article, so I have to rely upon an AP article my mom sent me. Next week I'll put up some more details.

16 7-month-old infants listened to snare drums played with an ambiguous rhythm. Apparently it means that beat was established, but no meter. Half of the infants were bounced every other beat , the other half were bounced every third beat. Bouncing was done by the mother of the infant.

Then, the infants were bounced to snare drums played with accented beats, duple and triple meters. "The babies preferred to listen to the pattern that matched how they'd been bounced," as measured by time the babies spent looking at the speaker that the music was coming from.
So a baby paid attention to triple meter waltzes if s/he was bounced in that same waltz pattern.

Therefore, get those knees in shape if you want to develop your childrens' meter perceptions.

Feeling the Beat: Movement Influences Infant Rhythm Perception

Jessica Phillips-Silver and Laurel J. Trainor

Science 3 June 2005; 308: 1430 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1110922] (in Brevia)

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