The human ability to communicate is one of the things that sets us apart from other mammals. Yet we still don’t understand many aspects of this unique characteristic. Dr. Simone Falk, Canada Research Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies on Rhythm and Language Acquisition, is trying to answer fundamental questions about how motor and cognitive rhythms evolve together to enable human communication.
Falk and her research team are trying to understand the relationship between verbal and non-verbal rhythmic capacities. In particular, they are examining the capacities’ role as markers of speech production and comprehension capabilities during childhood development. Falk and her team are also trying to uncover potential benefits of joint body and language rhythms in daily life and children’s lore (such as children’s games) for language and communication. Ultimately, their work will offer insights into the links between body and mind, language and music.