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Temporal resolution of the brain

x011 at ns1.CC.Lehigh.EDU x011 at ns1.CC.Lehigh.EDU
Fri Nov 18 12:23:43 EST 1994

In article <3aei0b$76t at news.cs.brandeis.edu>, bradw at cs.brandeis.edu (Brad Wyble)
>rwalker at grithill.demon.co.uk (robin walker) writes:
>>As part of an investigation into how the brain records patterns of stimulii
>>and responses, it would help to know how accurately the brain can resolve
>>temporal events.
>>To give examples:-
>>1. If an experienced musician hears a piece of music, how closely can he/she
>>follow the tempo of the piece when performing it some short time after
>>first hearing it.
>>Two measures are of interest, a) the temporal error between any two points in
>>the piece and b) the cumulative error over the whole piece. Might there be
>>intermediate errors that are greater than the cumulative error or does
>>the cumulative error generally increase over the duration of the piece?
>>2. If an experienced musician performs a piece of music with which he/she is
>>familiar twice in succession how closely is the the tempo maintained
>>between the two performances using the two measures above.
>>I would be very grateful if anyone could give some pointers to published
>>research on this subject or who can otherwise shed some light on the matter.
>>Robin Walker
>Hopefully I'm not out of place suggesting this here in light of the
>recent controversy concerning subject matter, but an interesting study
>that lept to my mind when reading this request would be to study the
>ability of the brain to stay with low frequency rhythyms.  More
>specifically, its easy for an individual to maintain a 60 Hz beat, but
>as the frequency decreases, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay
>with it and predict the next beat without maintaining an internal
>counting mechanism of some kind that divides the intervals between beats into
>       It may be the case that musicians have a difficult time
>suppressing this internal counting mechanism, but there should be many
>for whom the process is not automatic.  Or maybe I'm the lone freak
>who doesn't do it.
>       In any case, I imagine that this study might shed some
>interesting light on the storage of temporal patterns.  If it has
>already been done and I'm blowing wind, my sincerest apologies.
>                                       -Brad Wyble
>                                       Brandeis U.
Following up on Brad idea.  A light bulb goes on an off at 60 cycles per
second.  What happens if you change the cycle to 40 for normal vrs
learning disabled?

I don't remember the source but kittens placed in a strobe light environment
functioned normally, but when the light was turned on constantly they
were retarded.  Since discorrelation was reported as a cause of stuttering,
some people could have learning difficulties because the light is
going on and off at 60 cycles.

Ron Blue

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