Timing movements to interval durations specified by discrete or continuous sounds

Matthew W M Rodger, Cathy M Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding how the timing of motor output is coupled to sensory temporal information is largely based on synchronisation of movements through small motion gaps (finger taps) to mostly empty sensory intervals (discrete beats). This study investigated synchronisation of movements between target barriers over larger motion gaps when closing time gaps of intervals were presented as either continuous, dynamic sounds, or discrete beats. Results showed that although synchronisation errors were smaller for discrete sounds, the variability of errors was lower for continuous sounds. Furthermore, finger movement between targets was found to be more sinusoidal when continuous sensory information was presented during intervals compared to discrete. When movements were made over larger amplitudes, synchronisation errors tended to be more positive and movements between barriers more sinusoidal, than for movements over shorter amplitudes. These results show that the temporal control of movement is not independent from the form of the sensory information that specifies time gaps or the magnitude of the movement required for synchronisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-402
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3
Early online date20 Aug 2011
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Oct 2011


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