Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Jessica Grahn


Recently, steady-state evoked potentials (SS-EPs) at the frequency of the beat have been observed in electroencephalograms (EEG; Nozaradan et al., 2011, 2012). Previous studies involved participants actively attending to isochronous sequences and repeating rhythms. Here we assessed whether neural enhancement of SS-EPs at beat-related frequencies occurred when (1) participants did not attend to the rhythms, and (2) the rhythm was novel and did not repeat.

When participants listened to rhythms that contained a beat SS-EP enhancement was larger during attended rhythms than when participants were distracted by another task, although SS-EPs were still present in all conditions. SS-EP enhancement therefore occurs in non-repeating rhythms, providing further evidence of SS-EPs as a marker of beat perception. Greater response in attended conditions suggests that attention may be a necessary component of beat perception.