Musicians improve nonmusicians’ timing abilities!

We are pleased to announce the publication of our article: The roles of musical expertise and sensory feedback in beat keeping and joint action

The full article can be viewed here.


Auditory feedback of actions provides additional information about the timing of one’s own actions and those of others. However, little is known about how musicians and nonmusicians integrate auditory feedback from multiple sources to regulate their own timing or to (intentionally or unintentionally) coordinate with a partner. We examined how musical expertise modulates the role of auditory feedback in a two-person synchronization–continuation tapping task. Pairs of individuals were instructed to tap at a rate indicated by an initial metronome cue in all four auditory feedback conditions: no feedback, self-feedback (cannot hear their partner), other feedback (cannot hear themselves), or full feedback (both self and other). Participants within a pair were either both musically trained (musicians), both untrained (nonmusicians), or one musically trained and one untrained (mixed). Results demonstrated that all three pair types spontaneously synchronized with their partner when receiving other or full feedback. Moreover, all pair types were better at maintaining the metronome rate with self-feedback than with no feedback. Musician pairs better maintained the metronome rate when receiving other feedback than when receiving no feedback; in contrast, nonmusician pairs were worse when receiving other or full feedback compared to no feedback. Both members of mixed pairs maintained the metronome rate better in the other and full feedback conditions than in the no feedback condition, similar to musician pairs. Overall, nonmusicians benefited from musicians’ expertise without negatively influencing musicians’ ability to maintain the tapping rate. One implication is that nonmusicians may improve their beat-keeping abilities by performing tasks with musically skilled individuals.


Schultz MIDI Benchmarking Toolbox now available!

Ever wanted to test the timing of your MIDI  percussion pads, sound modules, and instrument patches? Well now you can! The SMIDIBT is available and the scripts are free to download:

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to contact Ben Schultz:



Schultz, B. G. (2018). The Schultz MIDI Benchmarking Toolbox for MIDI interfaces, percussion pads, and sound cards, Behavior Research Methods.

Blind people learn metrical and nonmetrical rhythms differently than the sighted

The article can be read here for free (for a limited time):

When learning rhythms, sighted people tend to learn rhythms better when they induce a sense of beat (i.e., metrical rhythms) compared to when they don’t (i.e., nonmetrical rhythms). This experiment shows that blind people demonstrated the reverse trend; they learned nonmetrical rhythms better than metrical rhythms. These results suggest that the blind might be more sensitive to rhythms that are irregular, perhaps as a survival mechanism to detect changes in the environment that signal danger.

Breaking Research: How the vocal tract changes when speaking and singing

Benjamin Schultz, Joao Correia, and Michel Belyk have been examining changes in the vocal tract while speaking, whistling, and singing. Here, one of our singers aims to sing with as clear a tone as possible. Notice how the throat is nice and open:

Here, the same singer aims to mimic Louis Armstrong’s raspy vocal style. The throat pathway is considerably smaller and tense:

And here an example of whistling. Notice the difference in the muscular control of throat and tongue:

More videos will arrive soon – watch this space!

Mutual coordination strengthens the sense of joint agency in cooperative joint action

New article published in Consciousness & Cognition.

Free download here (Until December 6, 2016):


Nicole K. Bolt, Evan M. Poncelet, Benjamin G. Schultz, & Janeen D. Loehr
Mutual coordination strengthens the sense of joint agency in cooperative joint action, Consciousness and Cognition, Volume 46, November 2016, Pages 173-187, ISSN 1053-8100,


Abstract: Abstract
Philosophers have proposed that when people coordinate their actions with others they may experience a sense of joint agency, or shared control over actions and their effects. However, little empirical work has investigated the sense of joint agency. In the current study, pairs coordinated their actions to produce tone sequences and then rated their sense of joint agency on a scale ranging from shared to independent control. People felt more shared than independent control overall, confirming that people experience joint agency during joint action. Furthermore, people felt stronger joint agency when they (a) produced sequences that required mutual coordination compared to sequences in which only one partner had to coordinate with the other, (b) held the role of follower compared to leader, and (c) were better coordinated with their partner. Thus, the strength of joint agency is influenced by the degree to which people mutually coordinate with each other’s actions.
Keywords: Agency; Joint action; Joint agency; Shared control; Interpersonal coordination


Update: March 2016

We are finally online and ready to roll! The BAND Lab has tripled in size since we started in September and we would like to welcome all of our new members:

Postdoctoral Fellows

Michel Belyk


PhD Students (PhD Students)

Joseph Johnson

Lisa Karin Goller (prospective)


Masters Students (Masters Students)

Almuth Rosenow
Diego Marquez
Marina Tamargo Cuadros
Violtsa Malo
Miquel Jansen
Winson Yang
Suvarnalata Xanthate Duggirala (Xan)
Nofar Ben Itzhak


Bachelor Students (Bachelor Students)

Reine Ramaekers


We have received two lab visitors: Adrià Rofes from the Trinity College Dublin of and Rachel Smith from the University of Glasgow. It was great having you over and we look forward to working together!