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Rhythm perception in early infancy

Naturevolume 266pages718719 (1977) | Download Citation

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Abstract

THE chief characteristic of rhythm perception is the subjective grouping of objectively separate events. In a rhythmic sequence of identical tone-bursts, adults do not perceive the repetition of a single sound, but a recurring configuration which has temporal form. Such a sequence is organised according to the Gestalt law of proximity1,2. Organisation of temporal form has never been studied systematically in pre-verbal infants. We present here results suggesting a precocious achievement of this function and contrasting with previous research3 which failed to demonstrate organisation of spatial form by babies in accordance with the proximity law.

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References

  1. 1

    Koffka, K. Principles of Gestalt Psychology (Harcourt, Brace and World, New York, 1963).

  2. 2

    Fraisse, P. Les Structures Rythmiques (Publications Universitaires de Louvain, Louvain, 1956); Psychologie du Rythme (Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1974).

  3. 3

    Bower, T. G. R. Psychon. Sci. 3, 323–324 (1965); Percept. Psychophys. 2, 74–76 (1967).

  4. 4

    Maurer, D. in Infant Perception: From Sensation to Cognition 1 (eds Cohen, L. B. & Salapatek, P.) 1–76 (Academic, New York, 1975).

  5. 5

    McKenzie, B. & Day, R. H. J. exp. Child Psychol. 11, 366–375 (1971).

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Affiliations

  1. Laboratoire de Psychologie Expérimentale et Comparée, Université René Descartes, 28 rue Serpente, 75006, Paris, France

    • LAURENT DEMANY
    • , BERYL MCKENZIE
    •  & ELIANE VURPILLOT
  2. La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia

    • BERYL MCKENZIE

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https://doi.org/10.1038/266718a0

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