April 7th, KL 232, 3pm

Title: “Rhythm Perception in Auditory and Visual Modalities”

Dr. Joel Snyder, UNLV

Abstract: Musical skills are usually considered to rely mostly on auditory and motor processing. However, musical information can also be gathered from vision and touch, raising questions about how much these non-auditory senses might contribute to musical behavior. The perception and production of timing patterns is one musical skill that has been studied extensively in both the visual and auditory modalities, providing hints about the extent to which vision might contribute to rhythm perception and also about the fundamental neural mechanisms of timing. My talk will therefore attempt to synthesize research that addresses the following questions: Is auditory-based timing for time intervals relevant to music better than visual-based timing for the same sized intervals? How robust are any observed differences to various moderating factors? To the extent that there are differences between auditory- and visual-based timing, what theories can best explain the differences and how can we test these theories? Finally, how does the comparison between auditory and visual timing inform us about an important issue in the literature, namely whether there are central timing mechanisms in the brain that compute time for all the senses as opposed to modality-specific timing mechanisms?