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      Auditory-motor entrainment and phonological skills: precise auditory timing hypothesis (PATH)

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          Abstract

          Phonological skills are enhanced by music training, but the mechanisms enabling this cross-domain enhancement remain unknown. To explain this cross-domain transfer, we propose a precise auditory timing hypothesis (PATH) whereby entrainment practice is the core mechanism underlying enhanced phonological abilities in musicians. Both rhythmic synchronization and language skills such as consonant discrimination, detection of word and phrase boundaries, and conversational turn-taking rely on the perception of extremely fine-grained timing details in sound. Auditory-motor timing is an acoustic feature which meets all five of the pre-conditions necessary for cross-domain enhancement to occur (Patel, 2011, 2012, 2014). There is overlap between the neural networks that process timing in the context of both music and language. Entrainment to music demands more precise timing sensitivity than does language processing. Moreover, auditory-motor timing integration captures the emotion of the trainee, is repeatedly practiced, and demands focused attention. The PATH predicts that musical training emphasizing entrainment will be particularly effective in enhancing phonological skills.

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          Music training for the development of auditory skills.

          The effects of music training in relation to brain plasticity have caused excitement, evident from the popularity of books on this topic among scientists and the general public. Neuroscience research has shown that music training leads to changes throughout the auditory system that prime musicians for listening challenges beyond music processing. This effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness. Therefore, the role of music in shaping individual development deserves consideration.
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            A temporal sampling framework for developmental dyslexia.

            Neural coding by brain oscillations is a major focus in neuroscience, with important implications for dyslexia research. Here, I argue that an oscillatory 'temporal sampling' framework enables diverse data from developmental dyslexia to be drawn into an integrated theoretical framework. The core deficit in dyslexia is phonological. Temporal sampling of speech by neuroelectric oscillations that encode incoming information at different frequencies could explain the perceptual and phonological difficulties with syllables, rhymes and phonemes found in individuals with dyslexia. A conceptual framework based on oscillations that entrain to sensory input also has implications for other sensory theories of dyslexia, offering opportunities for integrating a diverse and confusing experimental literature. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Joint drumming: social context facilitates synchronization in preschool children.

              The human capacity to synchronize body movements to an external acoustic beat enables uniquely human behaviors such as music making and dancing. By hypothesis, these first evolved in human cultures as fundamentally social activities. We therefore hypothesized that children would spontaneously synchronize their body movements to an external beat at earlier ages and with higher accuracy if the stimulus was presented in a social context. A total of 36 children in three age groups (2.5, 3.5, and 4.5 years) were invited to drum along with either a human partner, a drumming machine, or a drum sound coming from a speaker. When drumming with a social partner, children as young as 2.5 years adjusted their drumming tempo to a beat outside the range of their spontaneous motor tempo. Moreover, children of all ages synchronized their drumming with higher accuracy in the social condition. We argue that drumming together with a social partner creates a shared representation of the joint action task and/or elicits a specific human motivation to synchronize movements during joint rhythmic activity.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Hum Neurosci
                Front Hum Neurosci
                Front. Hum. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1662-5161
                10 October 2014
                27 November 2014
                2014
                : 8
                : 949
                Affiliations
                [1] 1Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, Northwestern University Evanston, IL, USA
                [2] 2Institute for Neuroscience, Northwestern University Evanston, IL, USA
                [3] 3Department of Communication Sciences, Northwestern University Evanston, IL, USA
                [4] 4Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, Northwestern University Evanston, IL, USA
                [5] 5Department of Otolaryngology, Northwestern University Evanston, IL, USA
                Author notes

                Edited by: Petri Toiviainen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

                Reviewed by: Jessica Phillips-Silver, Georgetown University Medical Center, USA; María Teresa Daza González, University of Almería, Spain

                *Correspondence: Nina Kraus, Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, Northwestern University, 2240 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208, USA e-mail: nkraus@ 123456northwestern.edu ; url: www.brainvolts.northwestern.edu

                This article was submitted to the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

                Article
                10.3389/fnhum.2014.00949
                4245894
                25505879
                ab594128-bd84-49df-816e-365833d923a0
                Copyright © 2014 Tierney and Kraus.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution and reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                History
                : 01 July 2014
                : 07 November 2014
                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 105, Pages: 9, Words: 7021
                Categories
                Neuroscience
                Hypothesis and Theory Article

                Neurosciences
                synchronization,auditory timing,phonological skills,musical training,reading
                Neurosciences
                synchronization, auditory timing, phonological skills, musical training, reading

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