Sense of Rhythm Helps Kids Do Better in School

People better perceive what is said, if the sentence is rhythmic. According to the American Society for Neuroscience, this discovery, made by the scientists from Northwestern University, Illinois, may be useful for the development of new curricula and teaching methods.


A team led by Professor Nina Kraus conducted a series of experiments involving 124 Chicago school children. The first test was aimed at the sense of rhythm – secondary school students had to get to the beat of a metronome rapping, fingering on the special surface. The second test was on listening for information. Teenagers were connected to electrodes and listened to a record with certain repetitive syllables.

Comparing the results of the two experiments, the researchers came to the conclusion that the brain of the students with the sense of rhythm processed incoming information easier.

Previously, the same group of scientists had managed to prove that people remembered visual information better due to logical stress following a certain pattern.

Thus, rhythmic language, both verbal and written, is able to influence the process of learning new material (for example, if to focus on priority points in a sentence). This is especially important when teaching children with dyslexia or dysgraphia, because correct information delivery may cure the kids from these disorders at the stage of their formation. In addition, according to Professor Nina Kraus, in the treatment of these diseases we need to use music and sound elements that ensure the development of the sense of rhythm and auditory perception.

The scientific work of the researchers from Northwestern University was published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

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