Auditory Statistical Learning During Concurrent Physical Exercise and the Tolerance for Pitch, Tempo, and Rhythm Changes

Motor Control. 2018 Jul 1;22(3):233-244. doi: 10.1123/mc.2017-0006. Epub 2017 Nov 28.


Previous studies suggest that statistical learning is preserved when acoustic changes are made to auditory sequences. However, statistical learning effects can vary with and without concurrent exercise. The present study examined how concurrent physical exercise influences auditory statistical learning when acoustical and temporal changes are made to auditory sequences. Participants were presented with the 500-tone sequences based on a Markov chain while cycling or resting in ignored and attended conditions. Learning effects were evaluated using a familiarity test with four types of short tone series: tone series in which stimuli were same as 500-tone sequence and three tone series in which frequencies, tempo, or rhythm was changed. We suggested that, regardless of attention, concurrent exercise interferes with tolerance in statistical learning for rhythm, rather than tempo changes. There may be specific relationships among statistical learning, rhythm perception, and motor system underlying physical exercise.

Keywords: attention; memory; motor; sensorimotor; temporal perception.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Male
  • Young Adult