The importance of keeping a beat: Researchers link ability to keep a beat to reading, language skills
The findings of a Northwestern University study of more than 100 high school students lend proof to the surprising link between music, rhythmic abilities and language skills.
Previous investigations found a link between reading ability and beat-keeping, says Kraus in a study published in the Sept. 18 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. Previous research has established a link between reading ability and neural responseconsistency. “By directly linking auditory responses with beat-keeping ability, we have closed the triangle,” Kraus says.
The study demonstrates that accurate beat-keeping involves synchronization between the parts of the brain responsible for hearing as well as movement. Where previous research investigations focused on the motor half of the equation, Kraus and co-author Adam Tierney focused on the auditory component.
Because hearing sounds of speech and associating them with the letters comprising written words is crucial to learning to read, the Northwestern researchers reasoned that the association between reading and beat synchronization likely has a common basis in the auditory system.”