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Acoustical Meeting, Nov. 10-14, 2008 in Miami, Florida

ith movement disorders, as demonstrated by the field of music therapy where using music with a beat helps enable some patients with Parkinson's to walk smoothly again. By providing a basic understanding of the brain mechanisms underlying this process, more effective treatments could be developed for people with movement disorders, ultimately improving their quality of life.

The talk, "Neural dynamics of beat perception and production" (1aMU3) by Dr. John Iversen will be presented at 9:35 a.m. on Monday, November 10.


High-speed internet makes it possible for a cellist in Canada to play Mozart with a violist in California. The SoundWIRE research group at Stanford University has been working on ways to synchronize a network performance.

Over the last few years, SoundWIRE has brought together musicians from New York, Norway and China, without anyone having to get on a plane. Although this offers a wider range of collaboration, there are special challenges to overcome. The biggest is the time delay, which typically lasts between 50 and 100 milliseconds depending on geographical distance. Time delays -- even those as short as 20 milliseconds -- can pose a problem. One way to deal with this is to pick music that is not heavily affected by a time lag, such as jazz improvisation or slow instrumental pieces. However, a rhythmically tight repertoire performed by a string quartet is especially sensitive to time delay. The musicians end up waiting for each other, causing the tempo of the music to slow down (an example of this can be heard at

The SoundWIRE group is exploring ways to use the delay as a structural musical element. Once the musicians become adapted to it, they can create entirely new works that may sound different on each side of the in

Contact: Jason Bardi
American Institute of Physics

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