Found meter! Knew it had to be REALLY deep – deeper than rhythm – and it is!
This result provides direct evidence for the capacity of the infant’s brain to entrain, that is, frequency-lock, to incoming auditory rhythms.
How much of these responses are due to low-level processes of the acoustic inputs and how much is due to top-down perceptual processes remains to be clarified. In adults, active attentional processes and body movement have been shown to shape such responses (Chemin et al., 2014; Nozaradan et al., 2011, 2015). As well, individual differences in adults’ tapping ability are reflected in the size of SS-EPs elicited at beat frequencies (Nozaradan et al., 2016). In the present study, while we could not explicitly control the active or automatic attention of the infants, we did find evidence for individual differences in rhythm processing.
In Experiment 1 in particular, the effect of infant music training on duple meter frequency peaks, but not beat, frequency peaks, implies that music training may not only selectively amplify specific frequencies, but may also enhance metrical processing. This supports the idea that the SS-EPs we measured are not simply stimulus driven, and may be influenced by higher-level processing.