Dr Tamara Rathcke Seminar
Date: Tuesday, 17 September 2019, 2.00pm - 3.00pm
Venue: Room 3.610, Level 3, Australian Hearing Hub, Macquarie University
Speaker: Dr Tamara Rathcke, University of Kent
Host: Dr Ivan Yuen
Topic: When language hits the beat: synchronising movement to simple tonal and verbal stimuli
Rhythmic perception-action coupling through sensorimotor synchronization has been studied with non-verbal, simple and complex auditory signals like a metronome and music. Applications of the paradigm to language are relatively rare, but could provide a valuable tool for investigating rhythm perception in speech. The aim of the present study is to compare sensorimotor synchronisation with simple non-verbal and verbal stimuli. Twenty-nine English-speaking participants tapped in synchrony with, and after listening to, a set of pure tones and simple syllables at three different tempi. Synchronisation to the vowel onset of verbal stimuli was comparable to the synchronisation to the acoustic onset of simple tones. Stability of inter-tap intervals decreased in the non-synchronised continuation condition at a slower tempo. These findings suggest that similar perceptual mechanisms are in place for simple auditory stimuli, regardless of their origin and complexity, and support the idea that processing and encoding of linguistic prosody relies on general aspects of the perceptual and motor system.
Dr Tamara Rathcke is a senior lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Kent. As a phonetician, she studies spoken language and non-verbal means of communication. Her research focuses on prosodic aspects of speech, and she is particularly interested in understanding links that connect language with music.