Distinct rhythmic abilities align with phonological awareness and rapid naming in school-age children

Abstract

Difficulty in performing rhythmic tasks often co-occurs with literacy difficulties. Motivated by evidence showing that people can vary in their performance across different rhythmic tasks, we asked whether two rhythmic skills identified as distinct in school-age children and young adults would reveal similar or different relationships with two literacy skills known to be important for successful reading development. We addressed our question by focusing on 55 typically developing children (ages 5–8). Results show that drumming to a beat predicted the variability of rapid naming but not of phonological awareness, whereas tapping rhythmic patterns predicted phonological awareness, but not rapid naming. Our finding suggests that rhythmic interventions can be tailored to address PA and RAN deficits specifically in reading disabled children.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Notes

  1. 1.

    The trending behavior between PA and beat performance is entirely driven by the two observations in the lower left corner of the top left scatterplot in Fig. 3. If we were to exclude those two points, then we will get r = .077, p = .592. Conversely, removing those two subjects with poor PA scores leaves the PA/Rhythm Pattern finding nearly unaffected: r = .410, p = .003. We take this as evidence supporting our claim that the relationship between PA and Beat performance is not robust, while the PA and Rhythm Pattern performance is.

References

  1. Bonacina S, Krizman J, White-Schwoch T, Nicol T, Kraus N (2019) How rhythmic skills relate and develop in school-age children. Glob Pediatr Health 6:2333794X19852045

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. Corriveau KH, Goswami U (2009) Rhythmic motor entrainment in children with speech and language impairments: tapping to the beat. Cortex 45(1):119–130

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Di Pietro M, Laganaro M, Leemann B, Schnider A (2004) Receptive amusia: temporal auditory processing deficit in a professional musician following a left temporo-parietal lesion. Neuropsychologia 42(7):868–877

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Eimas PD, Siqueland ER, Jusczyk P, Vigorito J (1971) Speech perception in infants. Science 171(3968):303–306

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Flaugnacco E, Lopez L, Terribili C, Zoia S, Buda S, Tilli S, Monasta L, Montico M, Sila A, Ronfani L, Schön D (2014) Rhythm perception and production predict reading abilities in developmental dyslexia. Front Hum Neurosci 8:392

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Fries W, Swihart AA (1990) Disturbance of rhythm sense following right hemisphere damage. Neuropsychologia 28(12):1317–1323

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Goswami U (2011) A temporal sampling framework for developmental dyslexia. Trends Cogn Sci 15:3–10

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Goswami U, Thomson J, Richardson U, Stainthorp R, Hughes D, Rosen S, Scott SK (2002) Amplitude envelope onsets and developmental dyslexia: a new hypothesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci 99(16):10911–10916

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Iversen JR, Patel AD, Ohgushi K (2008) Perception of rhythmic grouping depends on auditory experience. J Acoust Soc Am 124(4):2263–2271

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Kirby JR, Parrila RK, Pfeiffer SL (2003) Naming speed and phonological awareness as predictors of reading development. J Educ Psychol 95(3):453

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Liégeois-Chauvel C, Peretz I, Babaï M, Laguitton V, Chauvel P (1998) Contribution of different cortical areas in the temporal lobes to music processing. Brain J Neurol 121(10):1853–1867

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Nazzi T, Bertoncini J, Mehler J (1998) Language discrimination by newborns: toward an understanding of the role of rhythm. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 24(3):756

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Norton ES, Wolf M (2012) Rapid automatized naming (RAN) and reading fluency: implications for understanding and treatment of reading disabilities. Annu Rev Psychol 63:427–452

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Phillips-Silver J, Toiviainen P, Gosselin N, Piché O, Nozaradan S, Palmer C, Peretz I (2011) Born to dance but beat deaf: a new form of congenital amusia. Neuropsychologia 49(5):961–969

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Politimou N, Dalla Bella S, Farrugia N, Franco F (2019) Born to speak and sing: musical predictors of language development in pre-schoolers. Front Psychol 10:948

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Scarborough HS, Brady SA (2002) Toward a common terminology for talking about speech and reading: a glossary of the “Phon” words and some related terms. J Lit Res 34(3):299–336

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Schneider W, Roth E, Ennemoser M (2000) Training phonological skills and letter knowledge in children at risk for dyslexia: a comparison of three kindergarten intervention programs. J Educ Psychol 92(2):284–295

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Swanson HL, Trainin G, Necoechea DM, Hammill DD (2003) Rapid naming, phonological awareness, and reading: a meta-analysis of the correlation evidence. Rev Educ Res 73(4):407–440

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Tallal P (2004) Improving language and literacy is a matter of time. Nat Rev Neurosci 5:721–728

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Thomson JM, Goswami U (2008) Rhythmic processing in children with developmental dyslexia: auditory and motor rhythms link to reading and spelling. J Physiol Paris 102(1–3):120–129

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Tierney A, Kraus N (2015) Evidence for multiple rhythmic skills. PLoS ONE 10(9):e0136645

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Tierney A, White-Schwoch T, MacLean J, Kraus N (2017) Individual differences in rhythm skills: links with neural consistency and linguistic ability. J Cogn Neurosci 29(5):855–868

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Wagner RK, Torgesen JK, Rashotte CA (1999) Comprehensive test of phonological processing. CTOPP. Pro-ed., New York

    Google Scholar 

  24. Wagner RK, Torgesen JK, Rashotte CA, Pearson NA (2013) CTOPP-2: Comprehensive test of phonological processing (CTOPP-2)

  25. Wolf M, Bowers PG (1999) The double-deficit hypothesis for the developmental dyslexias. J Educ Psychol 91(3):415

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Woodruff Carr K, White-Schwoch T, Tierney AT, Strait DL, Kraus N (2014) Beat synchronization predicts neural speech encoding and reading readiness in preschoolers. Proc Natl Acad Sci 111(40):14559–14564

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank past and present members of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory for their contribution to this work and children and families who participated in this study. This work was supported by the National Institute of Health (R01 HD069414; F31 DC016205), the National Science Foundation (BCS 1430400), National Association of Music Merchants, Hunter Family Foundation, Dana foundation, and the G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

SB, JK, TW-S, TN, and NK designed research; SB performed research; JK, TW-S, and TN contributed analytic techniques; SB analyzed data; the first draft of the manuscript was written by SB; and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nina Kraus.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval

All procedures performed in this study were approved by Northwestern University Institutional Review Board.

Informed consent

Parents or legal guardians provided informed consent, and assent was given by the child prior to participation.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Reviewers: Luisa Lopez (University of Rome Tor Vergata) and a second researcher who prefers to remain anonymous.

Handling editor: Mari Tervaniemi (University of Helsinki).

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bonacina, S., Krizman, J., White-Schwoch, T. et al. Distinct rhythmic abilities align with phonological awareness and rapid naming in school-age children. Cogn Process (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10339-020-00984-6

Download citation

Keywords

  • Rhythm
  • Literacy
  • Beat
  • Patterns
  • Phonological awareness
  • Rapid naming