Moving with Beats and Loops: The Structure of Auditory Events and Sensorimotor Timing

Matthew W. M. Rodger, Cathy M. Craig

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Traditionally, audio-motor timing processes have been understood as motor output from an internal clock, the speed of which is set by heard sound pulses. In contrast, this paper proposes a more ecologically-grounded approach, arguing that audio-motor processes are better characterized as performed actions on the perceived structure of auditory events. This position is explored in the context of auditory sensorimotor synchronization and continuation timing. Empirical research shows that the structure of sounds as auditory events can lead to marked differences in movement timing performance. The nature of these effects is discussed in the context of perceived action-relevance of auditory event structure. It is proposed that different forms of sound invite or support different patterns of sensorimotor timing. Hence, the temporal information in looped auditory signals is more than just the interval durations between onsets: all metronomes are not created equal. The potential implications for auditory guides in motor performance enhancement are also described.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSound, Music, and Motion -10th International Symposium, CMMR 2013
EditorsMitsuko Aramaki, Olivier Derrien, Richard Kronland-Martinet, Solvi Ystad
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science



  • Sound structure, Perceptual events, Movement timing, Sensorimotor synchronization

Cite this

Rodger, M. W. M., & Craig, C. M. (2014). Moving with Beats and Loops: The Structure of Auditory Events and Sensorimotor Timing. In M. Aramaki, O. Derrien, R. Kronland-Martinet, & S. Ystad (Eds.), Sound, Music, and Motion -10th International Symposium, CMMR 2013 (Vol. 8905, pp. 204-217). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science).