Date of Award
Master of Arts in Psychology
This study investigated the role of short term memory in the motor reproduction of tempo. Seven undergraduate students participated in a finger-tapping experiment, in which retention intervals were incorporated into the classic continuation tapping paradigm. A two-way within-subjects design was employed, where subjects listen to and then attempt to reproduce a set tempo at 25 sub-second levels after retention intervals of 5 or 25 seconds. Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) software (Collyer, Boatright-Horowitz, & Hooper, 1997) was used to present stimulus tempos and record subjects tapping. Analyses of the inter-response intervals (IRls) indicated an effect of retention interval on the form of the oscillator signature (Collyer, Broadbent, & Church, 1992; 1994), the nonlinear component of temporal reproduction in continuation tapping. Of three current approaches to interval timing that were reviewed, a 'natural' time period account appeared most promising as an explanation for the retention interval effect. This account would attribute the effect to a relaxation of IRI toward a natural period of 550 - 575 ms (corresponding to a frequency just below 2 H).
Hooper, Sari, "Short Term Memory for Tempo in a Motor Timing Experiment" (1998). Open Access Master's Theses. Paper 1599.