Auditory Over Visual Advantage of Sensorimotor Synchronization in 6- to 7-Year-Old Children but Not in 12- to 15-Year-Old Children and Adults

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Abstract

The superiority of the auditory over visual modality in sensorimotor synchronization—a fundamental ability to coordinate movements with external rhythms—has long been established, whereas recent metronome synchronization work showed that synchronization of a visual bouncing ball was not less stable than synchronization of auditory tones in adults. The present study examined synchronization to isochronous sequences composed of auditory tones, visual flashes, or a bouncing ball in 6- to 7-year-old children, 12- to 15-year-old children, and 19- to 29-year-old adults. Consistent with previous reporting, the results showed that synchronization stability increased with age and synchronization was less stable for flashes than for tones and bouncing balls. As for the focus of the present study, the results revealed that synchronization of the bouncing ball was less stable than synchronization of tones for younger children, but not for teenagers and adults. The finding suggests the predisposition of the auditory advantage of sensorimotor synchronization in early childhood.

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