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Case Reports
, 40 (8), 1494-505

Modelling Rhythmic Function in a Musician Post-Stroke

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Case Reports

Modelling Rhythmic Function in a Musician Post-Stroke

Sarah J Wilson et al. Neuropsychologia.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to model the components of rhythmic function in a case (H.J.) of acquired rhythmic disturbance. H.J. is a right-handed, amateur male musician who acquired arrhythmia in the context of a global amusia after sustaining a right temporoparietal infarct. His rhythmic disturbance was analysed in relation to three independent components using an autoregressive extension of Wing and Kristofferson's model of rhythmic timing. This revealed preserved error-correction and motor implementation capacities, but a gross disturbance of H.J.'s central timing system ("cognitive clock"). It rendered him unable to generate a steady pulse, prevented adequate discrimination and reproduction of novel metrical rhythms, and partly contributed to bi-manual co-ordination difficulties in his instrumental performance. The findings are considered in relation to the essential components of the cognitive architecture of rhythmic function, and their respective cerebral lateralisation and localisation. Overall, the data suggested that the functioning of the right temporal auditory cortex is fundamental to 'keeping the beat' in music. The approach is presented as a new paradigm for future neuropsychological research examining rhythmic disturbances.

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