Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis

Committee Member

William Levine

Second Committee Member

Douglas Behrend


entrainment, music cognition, rhythm perception, speech perception, time perception


Neural, perceptual, and cognitive oscillations synchronize with rhythmic events in both speech (Luo & Poeppel, 2007) and music (Snyder & Large, 2005). This synchronization decreases perceptual thresholds to temporally predictable events (Lawrance et al., 2014), improves task performance (Ellis & Jones, 2010), and enables speech intelligibility (Peelle & Davis, 2012). Despite implications of music-language transfer effects for improving language outcomes (Gordon et al., 2015), proposals that shared neural and cognitive resources underlie music and speech rhythm perception (e.g., Tierney & Kraus, 2014) are not yet substantiated. The present research aimed to explore this potential overlap by testing whether music-induced oscillations affect metric speech tempo perception, and vice versa. We presented in each of 432 trials a prime sequence (seven repetitions of either a metric speech utterance or analogous musical phrase) followed by a standard-comparison pair (either two identical speech utterances or two identical musical phrases). Twenty-two participants judged whether the comparison was slower than, faster than, or the same tempo as the standard. We manipulated whether the prime was slower than, faster than, or the same tempo as the standard. Tempo discrimination accuracy was higher when the standard tempo was the same as, compared to slower or faster than, the prime tempo. These findings support the shared-resources view more than the independent-resources view, and they have implications for music-language transfer effects showing improvements in verbal memory (Chan et al., 1998), speech-in-noise perception (Strait et al., 2012), and reading ability in children and adults (Tierney & Kraus, 2013).