Thursday, February 23, 2012
Physics Research Conference
This Is Your Brain On Music
Daniel Levitin, Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Music, McGill University
What do we know abot music and the brain? Are the brains of musicians different from the brains of non-musicians? Why do some people become experts and others with the same amount of practice do not? Why do we like the music we like? What are the neural similarities between language and music? By the age of 5 we have all learned, implicitly, the rules of what notes go together and which don't. How is the brain able to do this? How does music affect our emotions? Music triggers the reward centers in our brains so that we are hardwired for music. Is music more fundamental to our species than language?
Dr. Levitin is the best-selling scientist author of the last ten years. His two books This Is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs have sold over 700,000 copies and spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list. He has been translated into 18 languages. His books generated two award-winning documentary films. The Music Instinct (PBS Nova) starred Dr. Levitin and Bobby McFerrin. The Musical Brain (CTV/National Geographic) starred Dr. Levitin and Sting.
He is widely regarded as the leading scientist studying music and the brain in the world. He's also a musician and record producer, who has performed with Sting, Rosanne Cash, and Mel Tormé.