Effects of task complexity on rhythmic reproduction performance in adults

Flora Iannarilli, Giuseppe Vannozzi, Marco Iosa, Caterina Pesce, Laura Capranica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of task complexity on the capability to reproduce rhythmic patterns. Sedentary musically illiterate individuals (age: 34.8 ± 4.2 yrs; M± SD) were administered a rhythmic test including three rhythmic patterns to be reproduced by means of finger-tapping, foot-tapping and walking. For the quantification of subjects' ability in the reproduction of rhythmic patterns, qualitative and quantitative parameters were submitted to analysis. A stereophotogrammetric system was used to reconstruct and evaluate individual performances. The findings indicated a good internal stability of the rhythmic reproduction, suggesting that the present experimental design is suitable to discriminate the participants' rhythmic ability. Qualitative aspects of rhythmic reproduction (i.e., speed of execution and temporal ratios between events) varied as a function of the perceptual-motor requirements of the rhythmic reproduction task, with larger reproduction deviations in the walking task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Movement Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • Evaluation
  • Movement complexity
  • Movement task
  • Rhythm
  • Rhythmic ability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biophysics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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