The Music Cognition group at the University of Amsterdam (Universiteit Van Amsterdam) focuses on melody and rhythm research. The 4 main questions they seek to explore are:
“1. What is shared (and what unique) in music versus language processing?
2. What are the music structural and cognitive components that contribute to the memory, recall and transmission of melodies?
3. What are the cognitive and biological building blocks of musicality?
4. What are the cognitive mechanisms and neurological correlates of rhythm perception?”
What interests me the most, from having seen some research about rhythm so far this semester and continuing as we read more and more, is the last question. One abstract I read that was particularly intriguing concerned a study by Henkjan Honing in which he discovered that Rhesus monkeys do not have the same rhythmic entrainment as humans (and a few species of birds) do. This supports the vocal learning hypothesis, that entrainment is a byproduct of learning to produce music vocally.
Here’s the article! http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=53039a50-624e-4c35-a715-740806021298%40sessionmgr11&vid=2&hid=1
(“Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta) Detect Rhythmic Groups in Music, but Not the Beat” by Henkjan Honing et al.).