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Stanford study shows different brains have similar responses to music
Date:4/11/2013

, each cluster of music-responsive areas appeared to be tracking music on its own time scale. For example, midbrain auditory processing centers worked more or less in real time, while the right-brain analogs of the Broca's and Geschwind's areas appeared to chew on longer stretches of music. These structures may be necessary for holding musical phrases and passages in mind as part of making sense of a piece of music's long-term structure.

"A novelty of our work is that we identified brain structures that track the temporal evolution of the music over extended periods of time, similar to our everyday experience of music listening," said postdoctoral scholar Daniel Abrams, PhD, the study's first author.

The preferential activation of motor-planning centers in response to music, compared with pseudo-music, suggests that our brains respond naturally to musical stimulation by foreshadowing movements that typically accompany music listening: clapping, dancing, marching, singing or head-bobbing. The apparently similar activation patterns among normal individuals make it more likely our movements will be socially coordinated.

"Our method can be extended to a number of research domains that involve interpersonal communication. We are particularly interested in language and social communication in autism," Menon said. "Do children with autism listen to speech the same way as typically developing children? If not, how are they processing information differently? Which brain regions are out of sync?"


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Contact: Bruce Goldman
goldmanb@stanford.edu
650-725-2106
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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