Facebook pixelRhythm and Syntax Processing in School-Age Children
Go to home page

Rhythm and Syntax Processing in School-Age Children

A diverse group of youths/children smiling into the camera.

Developmental Psychology

Yune S. Lee, Sanghoon Ahn, Rachael Frush Holt and E. Glenn Schellenberg

Read full research article

Overview

Although the link between musical rhythm and speech has been well established, it is less obvious whether a similar association exists between music and language. To determine the degree of neural overlap between music and language, a recent meta-analysis on existing neuroimaging data was performed – highlighting the involvement of the frontotemporal sensorimotor network. More recently, a direct link between rhythm and grammar processing has been observed within the same individuals: For example, it was found that typically developing children (N=134 in total) with good rhythm skills understood grammatically complex sentences better than children with poor rhythm skills, even after controlling for working memory and other demographic variables.

Figure 3 displays the results of the second experiment in this study which demonstrate that the performance on the test of working memory (A) which shows a main effect of syntax, specifically with higher accuracy for subject-relative than for object-relative sentences. There was additionally a main effect of syntax on response time (B) with faster response for subject-relative than for object-relative sentences. (C) Displays that performance on the rhythm test was significantly better for 8 sounds than 7. Finally, (D) shows that response times were faster for the 8 sound rhythms than the 7.

Share this article


AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT
Yune S. Lee is wearing a gray blazer with blue lights, horizontal. Close-up.

Yune S. Lee, PhD

Assistant Professor; Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing; School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences; Director of Speech, Language, and Music (SLAM) Laboratory