This Is Your Brain On Music

A great documentary over at Microsoft Research:


A fascinating exploration of the relationship between music and the mind—and the role of melodies in shaping our lives

Whether you load your iPod with Bach or Bono, music has a significant role in your life—even if you never realized it. Why does music evoke such powerful moods? The answers are at last becoming clear, thanks to revolutionary neuroscience and the emerging field of evolutionary psychology. Levitin unravels a host of mysteries that affect everything from pop culture to our understanding of human nature, including:
Are our musical preferences shaped in utero?
Is there a cutoff point for acquiring new tastes in music?
What do PET scans and MRIs reveal about the brain’s response to music?
Is musical pleasure different from other kinds of pleasure?
Levitin explores cultures in which singing is considered an essential human function, patients who have a rare disorder that prevents them from making sense of music, and scientists studying why two people may not have the same definition of pitch. At every turn, this provocative work unlocks deep secrets about how nature and nurture forge a uniquely human obsession.


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