The aim of this project is examine the influence of auditory (music vs. metronomic sequences) and social (real vs. virtual experimenter) factors on sensorimotor synchronization to identify the conditions that would lead to the most accurate and consistent synchronization in patients with dementia (PWD). We predict that synchronization will be more accurate and consistent 1) in the metronomic than in the musical conditions, and 2) in real than in virtual presence of the experimenter. We also hypothesize that synchronization to a fast tempo (90 bpm) will be more accurate and consistent than synchronization to slower tempo (75 bpm), and that music synchronization will be more accurate with binary than ternary structure of melodies.
The method uesed is measurement of tapping in synchrony with auditory sequences (metronomic vs. music) and in presence of real vs. virtual experimenter. A new tool, the Music Balance Board, developed at IPEM, to record body movements and hand tapping of aged people, measures sensorimotor synchronization in a comfortable and natural position. Data collected are analyzed using the Matlab Toolbox for circular functions.