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Communication Dans Un Congrès Année : 2023

The impact of neurocognitive disorders on sensorimotor synchronization with simple and complex rhythmic sequences


BACKGROUND Music-based interventions are increasingly suggested in the care of people suffering from neurocognitive disorders (NCDs; Kales et al., 2015), and are recommended more and more even for healthy older adults (Jünemann et al., 2022; Worschech et al., 2021). While promising outcomes have been observed in terms of behaviour, mood, and even cognition (Särkämö et al., 2014), little is known about how and why these interventions exert their positive effects. We propose that active interventions favouring sensorimotor synchronization (SMS) might be particularly effective (Hobeika & Samson, 2020). To tailor interventions to those who will maximally benefit from them, it is crucial to understand how SMS abilities are affected by age and by NCDs. AIMS Using an SMS paradigm with musical and metronomic stimuli containing sudden tempo changes, we test how older adults with and without NCDs perform in terms of tapping consistency and accuracy. Moreover, we analyse spontaneous nonverbal behaviour and facial expressions to obtain a comprehensive picture of the ways in which this population responds to musical stimulation. METHODS We recruit around 60 older adults from a geriatric day hospital in Lille, France, that accommodates people with diverse neurocognitive profiles, including people with major, mild, and absence of NCDs. Participants engage in a synchronization paradigm in which they tap along with sequences that are either a simple metronome or a well-known French song (chosen by the researcher), in both cases 75 seconds long and either with a stable, unchanging tempo or containing periodic tempo changes. This allows us to test the effect of cognitive impairment, auditory context (music vs. metronome) and tempo stability (stable vs. changing tempo) on SMS performance as well as socio-emotional and motor engagement, coded by external observers who were blind to the respective conditions. RESULTS We expect an effect of tempo stability on SMS performance, as well as a tempo stability*group interaction, in the sense that consistency and accuracy will be lower when tapping to sequences containing tempo changes, an effect assumed to be amplified in patients with NCDs. In terms of socio-emotional engagement, we expect less movement and fewer positive facial expressions in people with compared to without NCDs, similar to Hobeika et al. (2021). Finally, we expect a higher proportion of gaze directed at the participant’s own hand in the changing-tempo condition, reflecting task difficulty, an effect thought to be amplified in people with NCDs. DISCUSSION We discuss the expected results in terms of brain networks involved in SMS. In particular, the performance in the stable-tempo condition should be linked to activity in areas that are relatively preserved in NCDs, such as the cerebellum and supplementary motor area (Lewis & Miall, 2003; Liang & Carlson, 2020). We discuss adaptive tapping to sequences with shifting tempos as a more cognitively controlled type of SMS, relying on structures that are relatively more impaired in NCDs, particularly in the prefrontal and parietal cortices (Koch et al., 2009; Rémy et al., 2015). Moreover, we discuss socio-emotional and motor engagement and its relevance to the development of effective music-based interventions.
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hal-04355028 , version 1 (20-12-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-04355028 , version 1


Andres von Schnehen, Lise Hobeika, Dominique Huvent-Grelle, Francois Puisieux, Severine Samson. The impact of neurocognitive disorders on sensorimotor synchronization with simple and complex rhythmic sequences. The 15th International Conference of Students of Systematic Musicology (SysMus22), Ghent University, Sep 2022, Ghent, Belgium. ⟨hal-04355028⟩
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