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Adaptation to tempo changes in sensorimotor synchronization: Effects of intention, attention, and awareness

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Adaptation to tempo changes in sensorimotor synchronization is hypothesized to rest on two processes, one (phase correction) being largely automatic and the other (period correction) requiring conscious awareness and attention. In this study, participants tapped their finger in synchrony with auditory sequences containing a tempo change and continued tapping after sequence termination. Their intention to adapt or not to adapt to the tempo change was manipulated through instructions, their attentional resources were varied by introducing a concurrent secondary task (mental arithmetic), and their awareness of the tempo changes was assessed through perceptual judgements. As predicted, period correction was found to be strongly dependent on all three variables, whereas phase correction depended only on intention.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Haskins Laboratories New Haven Connecticut USA

Publication date: April 1, 2004


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