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ERIC Number: EJ993014
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Familiarity Overrides Complexity in Rhythm Perception: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of American and Turkish Listeners
Hannon, Erin E.; Soley, Gaye; Ullal, Sangeeta
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v38 n3 p543-548 Jun 2012
Despite the ubiquity of dancing and synchronized movement to music, relatively few studies have examined cognitive representations of musical rhythm and meter among listeners from contrasting cultures. We aimed to disentangle the contributions of culture-general and culture-specific influences by examining American and Turkish listeners' detection of temporal disruptions (varying in size from 50-250 ms in duration) to three types of stimuli: simple rhythms found in both American and Turkish music, complex rhythms found only in Turkish music, and highly complex rhythms that are rare in all cultures. Americans were most accurate when detecting disruptions to the simple rhythm. However, they performed less accurately but comparably in both the complex and highly complex conditions. By contrast, Turkish participants performed accurately and indistinguishably in both simple and complex conditions. However, they performed less accurately in the unfamiliar, highly complex condition. Together, these experiments implicate a crucial role of culture-specific listening experience and acquired musical knowledge in rhythmic pattern perception. (Contains 4 figures and 1 footnote.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Turkey; United States