Music And The Brain Studies In The Neurology Of Music Musicophilia – Tales of Music and the Brain

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Musicophilia – Tales of Music and the Brain

Musicophilia – Tales of Music and the Brain is a nonfiction book written by Oliver Sacks, professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. The basis of his book is the universal love and appreciation of music that mankind has in common. This is a quality limited to the human species and not found in other primates. Musicophilia manifests itself in infancy and is a quality found in every human culture. He believes that musicophilia dates back to the beginning of our species. Birdsongs are fixed in structure and never seem to change, but this must be fixed in the bird’s brain because there is never any improvisation and seems to be a combined phenomenon.

The human brain has several scattered networks and no single musical center. Everyone has the ability to sense tone, rhythm, harmony level, and timbre. We use different parts of our brain to put it all together. Much of this action is often unconscious, but it adds a powerful and deeply emotional action to the music. Listening to music is not only emotional, but it also tones the muscles and uses the muscles to tap and dance to the beat. We have a very durable musical memory because what we hear in childhood stays with us throughout our lives.

However, this wonderful mechanism of the brain is prone to distortion, overload and damage. This can occur in a variety of cortical disorders, including Parkinsonism, Alzheimer’s, stroke, autism, and other psychiatric disorders. An example of a music-related wasting syndrome is musicogenic epilepsy. In these people, certain tones, pitches, or tones can trigger a region of the temporal lobe that can cause seizures. These people learn to stay away from any music-related events.

People who are absolutely vocal [ Mozart is an example] MRI studies have shown an extreme asymmetry between the volumes of the right and left temporal lobes, brain structures important for perceiving speech and music. On the other hand, people with imperfect ears often have damage to the cochlea in the inner ear.

Music geniuses are people who have brain damage that improves their musical abilities. Some of these people, despite their mental and physical limitations, may have reports of performing over a thousand operas or hundreds of symphonies. The brain damage they suffered appears to have enhanced the right side of the brain, allowing them to develop these musical abilities.

In synthetics, one sensory experience can directly and automatically trigger another. One of these people may perceive the days of the week as having their own color. Others may associate smells with colors. In other cases, a color such as C may invoke the color red. Some aesthetes can see many colors when listening to a symphony.

Because emotional responses to music are widespread and probably not only cortical, but also subcortical in nature, music can be enjoyed even in diffuse cortical diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. One does not have to have a formal education to enjoy music. While we spend our days stomping our feet, singing, singing oldies, and even crying to the emotions that music can evoke within us, music is a human being.

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