The Effect of Music Tempo on Physical Activity
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Honors Theses; 2017
Music influences the way we move, whether we are dancing, running, or tapping our fingers. Research has indicated that music tempo influences gross and fine motor movements. Does music rate also have a robust effect on fine motor tasks such as finger tapping? The current study examined how the timing of auditory stimuli influenced participants’ ability to keep a consistent finger tapping rate. It was hypothesized that participants’ finger tapping rates would drift toward the presented auditory stimuli with faster stimuli producing faster tapping rates and vice versa. In Exp. 1, 56 participants tapped to a metronome with their dominant hand and continued this rate throughout the study. Participants were presented with varying auditory stimuli (fast and slow songs) while continuing to tap at the rate of the original metronome. In Exp. 2, 42 participants followed the same methodology, but also engaged in a secondary task in which they listened for errors in the auditory stimuli. Participants’ inter tap intervals (ITIs) were recorded and analyzed to determine if they would change their ITIs to match the rates of the auditory stimuli. Results from Exp. 1 indicated that the rate of the auditory stimuli significantly influenced participants’ ITIs, with faster tapping in the fast condition compared to the slow condition. Exp. 2 mirrored these results, but with a stronger difference between the ITIs within fast and slow conditions. Overall, results indicate that participants’ tapping behaviors are influenced by auditory stimuli. The present results have implications for injury rehabilitation and therapy treatments.
Academic Major: Psychology
The Ohio State University Undergraduate Research Office: Research Scholar Award