To perform ordinary tasks like speaking or walking, we need to be able to finely coordinate perception with action. By studying how people perceive rhythm and music as well as move to a beat, researchers can uncover clues about auditory-motor skills (which rely on interactions between hearing and movement) and learning.
Dr. Simone Dalla Bella, Canada Research Chair in Music Auditory-Motor Skill Learning and New Technologies, is conducting research in these areas. Using behavioural testing, massive online data collection, machine learning and neurophysiology, he and his research team are trying to figure out how different people couple movements (such as finger taps or steps) to a beat. They are also testing the associated differences in auditory-motor skill learning and brain plasticity. Ultimately, their results will lead to new insights into individual differences in auditory-motor skills and innovative technological solutions to improve learning.