Perceiving Temporal Regularity in Music: The Role of Auditory Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) in Probing Beat Perception

  • Henkjan Honing
  • Fleur L. Bouwer
  • Gábor P. Háden
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 829)


The aim of this chapter is to give an overview of how the perception of a regular beat in music can be studied in humans adults, human newborns, and nonhuman primates using event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Next to a review of the recent literature on the perception of temporal regularity in music, we will discuss in how far ERPs, and especially the component called mismatch negativity (MMN), can be instrumental in probing beat perception. We conclude with a discussion on the pitfalls and prospects of using ERPs to probe the perception of a regular beat, in which we present possible constraints on stimulus design and discuss future perspectives.


Auditory perception Music cognition Rhythm Beat induction Event-related potentials (ERP) Mismatch-negativity (MMN) Temporal expectation Music 



The first author [H.H.] is supported by the Hendrik Muller chair designated on behalf of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and is supported by the Distinguished Lorentz Fellowship and Prize 2013/2014 granted by the Lorentz Center for the Sciences and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS). All authors are member of the Research Priority Area Brain & Cognition at the University of Amsterdam.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henkjan Honing
    • 1
  • Fleur L. Bouwer
    • 1
  • Gábor P. Háden
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), Amsterdam Brain and Cognition (ABC)University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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