Hips Don't Lie... But Keeping A Beat Is All In Your Head

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Hips don’t lie – but a new study suggests our sense of rhythm actually comes from the brain.

Researchers at Montreal’s McGill University wanted to know how people are able to synch actions with sounds – allowing us to dance to new music, for example.

They measured brain activity in 29 adults who each had at least six years of formal training on a musical instrument.

“We were interested in exploring how musicians’ brains respond to rhythms,” explained professor Caroline Palmer, lead author of the study, in a release. “It could be that some people are better musicians because they listen differently or it could be that they move their bodies differently.

“We found that the answer was a match between the pulsing or oscillations in the brain rhythms and the pulsing of the musical rhythm – it’s not just listening or movement. It’s a linking of the brain rhythm to the auditory rhythm.”

The study results are published in the October 2020 edition of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

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