Breaking News
December 11, 2018 - New research identifies two genes linked to serious congenital heart condition
December 11, 2018 - NIH Director talks science, STEM careers with preteens
December 11, 2018 - Disabling a Cellular Antivirus System Could Improve Gene Therapy
December 11, 2018 - New tool swiftly provides accurate measure of patients’ cognitive difficulties
December 11, 2018 - Without Obamacare penalty, think it’ll be nice to drop your plan? Better think twice
December 11, 2018 - Researchers capture high-resolution X-ray and NMR image of key immune regulator
December 11, 2018 - Natural flavonoid is effective at treating leishmanisis infections, study shows
December 11, 2018 - Avoidant grievers unconsciously monitor and block mind-wandering contents, study shows
December 11, 2018 - Study identifies how hantaviruses infect lung cells
December 11, 2018 - Improving PTSD care through genetics
December 11, 2018 - Dermatology providers show interest in recommending cannabinoids to patients
December 11, 2018 - Researchers to study effects of electroconvulsive therapy on Alzheimer’s patients with aggression
December 11, 2018 - Four dried fruits have lower glycemic index than starchy foods, study finds
December 11, 2018 - Optimization of drug dose sizes can reduce pharmaceutical wastage
December 11, 2018 - Ultrarestrictive opioid prescribing strategy linked with reduction in number of pills dispensed
December 11, 2018 - PET scans to optimize tuberculosis meningitis treatments and personalize care, study finds
December 11, 2018 - Researchers aim to identify and target high blood pressure indicators
December 11, 2018 - Researchers identify immune cell subset that may drive chronic inflammation
December 11, 2018 - Ezogabine treatment reduces motor neuron excitability in ALS patients, study shows
December 11, 2018 - One implant, two prices. It depends on who’s paying.
December 11, 2018 - Standardizing feeding practices improves growth trends for micro-preemies
December 11, 2018 - COPD Tied to Obesity in Male, Female Never-Smokers
December 11, 2018 - Flossing: Information for Caregivers
December 11, 2018 - Does breastfeeding hormone protect against type 2 diabetes?
December 11, 2018 - Educating future doctors to prescribe physical activity for their patients
December 11, 2018 - Krystal 2000 microplate design improves fluorescence and luminescence measurement
December 11, 2018 - FDA clears mobile medical app to help increase retention in recovery program for opioid use disorder
December 11, 2018 - Overcoming Challenges in High-Speed Centrifugation Experiments
December 11, 2018 - Study shows link between neighborhoods’ socioeconomic status and dietary choices
December 11, 2018 - Lower BMI before obesity surgery predicts greater post-operative weight loss, study finds
December 11, 2018 - Obesity May Be Driving Rise in Uterine Cancers
December 11, 2018 - Antioxidants may prevent cognitive impairment in diabetes
December 11, 2018 - Study discovers link between meditation and how individuals respond to feedback
December 11, 2018 - Researchers identify potential diagnostic tool for Alzheimer’s disease
December 11, 2018 - Oral cancer prognostic signature identified
December 11, 2018 - How Can I Find Out What Caused My Miscarriage?
December 11, 2018 - Novel personalized medicine tool for assessing inherited colorectal cancer syndrome risk developed
December 11, 2018 - Study uncovers 11 new genes associated with epilepsy
December 11, 2018 - Filling research gaps could help develop more disability-inclusive workplaces
December 11, 2018 - Cartilage tissue engineering brings good news for patients with cartilage defects
December 11, 2018 - Novel 3D printing workflow helps predict leaky heart valves
December 11, 2018 - Imagination can help overcome fear and anxiety-related disorders, shows study
December 11, 2018 - Are caries linked to political regime?
December 11, 2018 - Leader in Diabetes Clinical Trials Wins Naomi Berrie Award
December 11, 2018 - Scientists discover cellular mechanism that triggers pneumonia in humans
December 11, 2018 - Increasing mental health problems related to drug use in over 55’s
December 11, 2018 - High-intensity interval exercise could help combat cognitive dysfunction in obese people
December 11, 2018 - Annual flu shot can save lives of heart failure patients
December 11, 2018 - Researchers compare health outcomes for VA and non-VA hospitals
December 11, 2018 - Recommendations Developed for Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment
December 11, 2018 - Genetic analysis links obesity with diabetes, coronary artery disease
December 11, 2018 - Study shows that having genetic information can affect how the body responds
December 11, 2018 - UNAIDS Report: 9 Million Are Likely HIV Positive And Don't Know It
December 11, 2018 - Lund University researchers succeed in obtaining dendritic cells by direct reprogramming
December 11, 2018 - Breast tumors recruit bone marrow cells to boost their growth, study reveals
December 11, 2018 - Updated breast cancer screening guideline highlights importance of shared decision-making
December 11, 2018 - EHR-related stress associated with physician burnout
December 11, 2018 - AHA: 12-Year-Old Heart Defect Survivor Inspires NFL Player’s Foundation
December 11, 2018 - Breast cancer patients who take heart drug with trastuzumab have less heart damage
December 11, 2018 - Providing aid to those humans – and animals – affected by the California fires
December 11, 2018 - Even without proof, CBD is finding a niche as a cure-all
December 11, 2018 - Drawing leads to better memory than writing
December 11, 2018 - Researchers report novel findings on plant hormone
December 10, 2018 - A Tale of Two Labels
December 10, 2018 - Triple combination cancer immunotherapy improves outcomes in preclinical melanoma model
December 10, 2018 - A 14-year-old explains what it’s like to get a new heart
December 10, 2018 - Team Players Honored with 2018 Baton Awards
December 10, 2018 - Global report highlights how the changing world is affecting children’s physical activity levels
December 10, 2018 - Genes play a role in physical activity and sleep
December 10, 2018 - DDT in Alaskan fish shown to increase risk of cancer
December 10, 2018 - Laws to curb use of cell phones have greatly reduced fatalities for motorcyclists
December 10, 2018 - Argenx Provides Detailed Data from Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Efgartigimod in Immune Thrombocytopenia and Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial of Cusatuzumab in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
December 10, 2018 - University of Maryland doctors treat first breast cancer patients with GammaPod radiotherapy
December 10, 2018 - The heartbeat seat: Demoing new well-being technologies in a car
December 10, 2018 - Leading Cancer Researcher to Direct Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
December 10, 2018 - Researchers explore how glial cells develop in the brain from neural precursor cells
December 10, 2018 - Study compares pain-related diagnoses in First Nations and non-First Nations children, youth
December 10, 2018 - Experts address sleep disorders following traumatic brain injury
December 10, 2018 - Scientists find answers to how cancer spreads
December 10, 2018 - Study explores why older people read more slowly
A sense of rhythm—why do we have it and what does it mean to us?

A sense of rhythm—why do we have it and what does it mean to us?

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Almost everything we do incorporates rhythm. At the University of Oslo 50 researchers from all over the world will provide us with some new answers about the meaning of rhythm for people – and possibly also develop the world’s best dancing robot.

“If we can understand more about rhythm, we will understand more about how people function,” says Professor Anne Danielsen.

Professor Danielsen and Associate Professor Alexander Jensenius are jointly responsible for running the RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion. 

RITMO is a centre for excellence in research (CER) at which the Department of Musicology, the Department of Informatics (MatNat) and the Department of Psychology (SV) are engaged in cooperation. The Centre was officially opened on Thursday 15 November.

“We are excited and really looking forward to getting properly started,” says Professor Jensenius.

Running and drinking coffee

Over the course of the next 10 years, the researchers at RITMO will conduct research on all general aspects of rhythm – not just in music, but in all areas of life.

“Many people probably don’t think about it much, but rhythm is extremely important in almost everything we do. Rhythm is necessary for understanding events in time, for engaging in dialogue and for coordinating and synchronising ourselves with one another,” says Professor Danielsen.

The Centre is aiming to identify the mechanisms which lie behind how people perceive and use rhythm.

“Just take walking for example. Or running. These involve two different types of rhythm. If you run in the company of others, you start to synchronise your steps with theirs. If you listen to music, then you may have an extra dimension to synchronise with,” says Professor Jensenius.

“Or even drinking a cup of coffee,” continues Professor Danielsen.

“The movement involved in lifting a cup, taking it up to your mouth, inclining your body, leaning back again and gently placing it back on the table. There is rhythm in that too. You know when the cup reaches your mouth and when it touches the table surface again, and your adjust your movements accordingly,” she says.

Human robot dance

One example of this is this interactive music dance (see the video below). Instead of the dancer dancing to the music, the dancer creates the music with the dance. Credit: University of Oslo

The researchers at the RITMO Centre will not just be using technology in order to understand rhythms. They will also use it to develop rhythms which will enable computers or robots to move rhythmically and to co-exist with people rhythmically.

“At present robots move in a very “meh meh” sort of way,” says Professor Jensenius, as he demonstrates chopping movements with his arms.

“At the moment robots are not very good at adapting to whatever is taking place around them. If you think about the complexity involved in human movements – for example, simply lifting a cup of coffee – it is incredibly hard to make a robot do that. This is the sort of thing we want to investigate and understand,” he says.

“We are absolutely motivated to make a dancing robot. Not a humanoid robot, but one with movements which will incorporate human qualities. Maybe it will become a world champion robotic dancer,” he smiles.

Soft and hard

Both professors point out the Centre’s interdisciplinary attributes as being a decisive factor for acquiring a better understanding of rhythm. 

“Thanks to our background in the humanities we possess extremely good expertise on interpreting and drawing up interesting and relevant questions. In order to test and engage in experimental work, we also have people at the Centre who are highly skilled in respect of technology and experimental neuroscientific studies,” says Professor Danielsen.

“We have people who are engaged in the softest of the soft to the hardest of the hard,” he adds.

Small details

RITMO consists of around 50 researchers – not just from Norway, but also from countries such as China, Germany, England and Turkey. 

“This is basic research which we are building up piece by piece, so it is fantastic to have the opportunity to gather so many people and work on this over a long period of time. The more we work on this, the more complex we see that it is,” says Professor Jensenius.

The researchers at RITMO also need to find new methods and develop new technology, because they are addressing questions which have never previously been investigated.

“We are working a lot with microtime and micromovement, which means that we are pushing ing our systems to the extreme. We have purchased the best equipment currently available in the world, but even so we are being challenged by trying to measure the small details that we are looking for. We are talking about milliseconds and millimetres,” he says.


Explore further:
Clapping Music app reveals that changing rhythm isn’t so easy

Provided by:
University of Oslo

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles