Author ORCID Identifier


Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Oberlin Community Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Clinton Merck

Committee Member(s)

Travis Wilson
Dr. Jody Kerchner


Collaborative music-making, Behavioral synchrony, Theory-of-Mind, Predictive coding


Extant research has indicated that collaborative music-making activities can enhance the social-cognitive ability known as Theory-of-Mind. Behavioral synchrony, the act of being physically and temporally coordinated with others, also engenders effects on Theory-of-Mind. The present study aimed to examine whether behavioral synchrony affects Theory-of-Mind differently between people who do and do not engage in collaborative music-making activities. Participants were classified as music-makers or music-non makers, assigned a partner, and randomly assigned to synchronous or control conditions. Participants completed either a behavioral synchrony task or a control task (maze) before taking a Theory-of-Mind test. Results did not show effects of the synchrony task or music-maker status on overall Theory-of-Mind, but demonstrated that synchrony and music-making did have distinct effects on the subdomains of Theory-of-Mind. The findings suggest that the relationships between behavioral synchrony, collaborative music-making, and Theory-of-Mind are complex.