Cerebral Lateralization of the EEG During Perceptual-Motor Integration in Young Adults With Down Syndrome: A Descriptive Study

  • Chih-Chia Chen Department of Kinesiology, Mississippi State University - chih.chia.chen@msstate.edu
  • Shannon D. R. Ringenbach School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Program of Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Arizona State University
  • Arielle Biwer School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Program of Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Arizona State University
  • Abbie Riekena School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Program of Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Arizona State University
Keywords: Intellectual Disability, Cerebral Lateralization, EEG, Music


Background: This study was aimed at investigating cerebral laterality of perceptual-motor integration in persons with DS. Method: Fourteen persons with DS between the ages of 12-39 drummed with their dominant hand (e.g., right hand) following verbal (i.e., drumming to a voice saying "drum"), rhythm (i.e., drumming to the sound of a drum being hit) and melody (i.e., drumming to the loudest beat) instructions. Electroencephalogram (EEG) data at T3 (left hemisphere) and T4 (right hemisphere) was collected and computed as cerebral specialization coefficients during drumming performance. Results: It seems like that our results were consistent with the model of atypical hemisphere processing of verbal information in the right hemisphere in persons with DS, which is opposite to the typical population (Elliott et al., 1987). In addition, the results showed that melody instructions were right hemisphere specialized and rhythm instruction was left hemisphere specialized in persons with DS. Conclusions: This is the first study to systematically examine verbal, rhythm and melody processing in persons with DS. Rhythm and melody are two main components of music. Therefore, these results are promising for understanding mechanisms underlying cerebral processing as well as music therapy for persons with DS.


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