Multiple synchronization strategies in rhythmic sensorimotor tasks: phase vs period correction
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To characterize synchronisation strategies in the tracking of auditory rhythm with rhythmic finger tapping, the adaptation process after unexpected step changes of an interstimulus interval (ISI) of 500 ms was investigated. Step changes of 2% (10 ms), 4% (20 ms), and 10% (50 ms) of ISI were applied to the stimulus sequence. Synchronisation patterns of 5 subjects were analyzed based on synchronisation error (SE) and interresponse intervals (IRI). A strategy shift contigent upon the size of the introduced step change was detected. After small ISI changes, rapid IRI matching to the new ISI was accompanied by temporarily enlarged SE values, which slowly returned to preferred SE values before the step change. Large ISI changes showed quick SE adaptations accompanied by a temporary overcorrection of IRI. Response asymmetry between ISI decreases and increases emerged, showing a stronger adaptation during ISI increases. A two-dimensional difference equation was formulated to simulate the time series of intertap intervals and explain the control process during IRI and SE adjustments. The system constants were optimized to minimalize the deviations between the computed and the observed response trajectories, consisting of the time series of SE and IRI. It was shown that a successful model fit using a linear two-dimensional difference equation was based on the size and direction of the ISI changes. MANOVA procedures showed that differences in equation parameters during small and large step changes were statistically significant (P<0.05). It is therefore suggested that a uniform model accounting for synchronization responses to all step changes would require the introduction of nonlinear system properties.
KeywordsStep Change Synchronisation Error Synchronisation Pattern Sensorimotor Task Rhythmic Sensorimotor
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