Comparison of the Rhythmic Ability of People with Intellectual Disabilities, Down Syndrome and People without Disabilities

María José Montilla Reina

Carles Ventura Vall-llovera

Laia Domingo Saldaña

*Corresponding author: María José Montilla Reina mjmontilla.@inefc.es

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Montilla Reina, M. J., Ventura i Vall-llovera, C., & Domingo Saldaña, L. (2016). Comparison of the Rhythmic Ability of People with Intellectual Disabilities, Down Syndrome and People without Disabilities. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 124, 27-34. https://doi.org/10.5672/apunts.2014-0983.es.(2016/2).124.02

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Abstract

Rhythmic ability is a complex coordinative capacity evidenced in various daily activities. It is characterized by sensorimotor synchronization, or the adaptation of movements to a constant external stimulus, and by producing a regular constant beat called spontaneous tempo. In the study we evaluated spontaneous tempo, specifically the rate to produce 21 blows, and synchronization ability in a single test pattern and other quaternary patterns at a rate of 60 bpm. We used the Montilla Rhythm Test© (1998) with a group of 10 people with Down syndrome (DS), (M=39.7 years, SD=6.18), a group of 14 people with intellectual disabilities (ID), (M=37.8 years, SD=5.25), both groups with the intellectual capacity of a 6-7 year old, and a final group of 15 participants with no disability (ND), (M=6.33 years; SD=0.48). In the spontaneous tempo test, the results showed significant differences between participants with ND and the other two groups (DS and ID). There were no statistical differences between the groups in the synchronization test (single and quaternary pattern) at 60 bpm. Given the quaternary pattern test’s complexity, it was not carried out by any of the participants with DS. The tests are suitable for quantifying the rhythmic abilities of the groups, although in the future it will be necessary to expand the number of participants and improve the protocol to facilitate understanding and performance with people with disabilities.

Keywords: Down Syndrome, Intellectual Disability, Rhythm Quantification, Rhythm Test, Sensorimotor Synchronization, Spontaneous Tempo.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Received: September 22, 2015

Accepted: January 4, 2016

Published: April 1, 2016