Honing, H., Ladinig, O., Winkler, I., & Haden, G. (2009). Is beat induction innate or learned? Probing emergent meter perception in adults and newborns using event-related brain potentials (ERP). The Neurosciences and Music III—Disorders and Plasticity: Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci., 1169, 93–96 doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04761.x


Meter is considered an important structuring mechanism in the perception and experience of rhythm in music. Combining behavioral and electrophysiological measures, in the present study we investigate whether meter is more likely a learned phenomenon, possibly a result of musical expertise, or whether sensitivity to meter is also active in adult non-musicians and newborn infants. The results provide evidence that meter induction is active in adult non musicians and that beat induction is already functional right after birth.

Full paper (pdf).