Document Type


Publication Date



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics


Theories of metrical structure postulate the existence of several degrees of beat strength. While previous work has clearly established that humans are sensitive to the distinction between strong beats and weak ones, there is little evidence for a more fine grained distinction between intermediate levels. Here, we present experimental data showing that attention can be allocated to an intermediate level of beat strength. Comparing the effects of short exposures to 6/8 and 3/4 metrical structures on a tone detection task, we observe that subjects respond differently to beats of intermediate strength than to weak beats.

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Linguistics Commons



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