Brescia Psychology Undergraduate Honours Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-5-2017




Dr. Jessica A. Grahn


The way humans move to music has a large impact on how music is synchronized to, interpreted, and enjoyed. It is understood that movements to music aid in beat perception, and neural oscillations have the ability to entrain to musical rhythms. This study attempted to link these two well-established phenomena by exploring the use of movement to simple and complex musical rhythms to enhance neural entrainment. Ten undergraduate students engaged in 60 simple and complex musical rhythms, either tapping along to the beat or listening without movement, while undergoing EEG recording. Although the differences in brain response amplitude were not significant, brain activity responses to movement to complex rhythms were numerically greater than those prior to movement or movement to simple rhythms. These findings suggest that movement to complex musical rhythms has the potential to enhance neural entrainment, however a larger sample is needed to see these effects.