Neural oscillations across frequency bands synchronize with linguistic and rhythmic structures in the absence of acoustic cues and motor movements (Ding et al., 2016; Iversen et al., 2009; Jones & Boltz, 1989). The present study aims to investigate whether meter processing differences, beyond the perception of acoustic patterns of rhythms, can account for individual differences in grammatical abilities. Expressive grammar (SPELT-3) and meter processing are measured in 5-8-year-old typically developing children together with nonverbal IQ (PTONI), and language abilities (TOLDP-4). Meter processing is measured with EEG in a passive listening paradigm, in which a simple rhythm is presented repeatedly with a physical accent 1) in the whole block (physical beat condition) or 2) only for the first ten trials of the block (induced beat condition). Neural responses to the beat are measured after the tenth trial of each block. Preliminary results (N=11, 8 female, mean age = 6.57) indicate a similar event-related response to the physical beats as to the induced beats. Furthermore, when considering children’s expressive grammatical abilities, preliminary results indicate a difference in the pattern of ERP responses given to the physical and induced beats in above-average expressive grammar (N=5) versus average expressive grammar participants (N=4). These results suggest that differences in meter processing skills may account for individual differences in grammatical abilities.
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