THE SPATIO-TEMPORAL PROPERTIES OF HUMAN movement that induce the percept of a visual beat were investigated in three experiments. Experiment 1, in which participants synchronized key presses with point-light representations of simple conducting gestures, showed that visual beat induction was related to acceleration along the trajectory (a), and, to a lesser extent, high instantaneous speed (v). Experiment 2, in which the curvature component of the gestures was held constant, largely supported this finding. Experiment 3, in which the speed component of the gestures was held constant, indicated that neither radius of curvature (r) nor rate of change of radius of curvature (r') alone were related to visual beat induction. In addition, analysis of the characteristics of the gestures highlighted inconsistencies between descriptions of the beat in the conducting literature, and descriptions of biological motion in the human movement literature,with the gestures used here conforming to the latter.
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