When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

05 September 2006

"This Is Your Brain on Music" | Salon Books

[Daniel J. Levitin, author of "This Is Your Brain on Music"] is a neuroscientist and a former record producer. He is one of those people -- think of a Nick Hornby character -- for whom music has always been a source of infinite aesthetic and emotional pleasure. He is also one of those people lucky enough to have turned his abiding interest into worthwhile work. Levitin's primary scientific pursuit concerns how music operates on the human brain, though it might be more fitting to say that he uses music to study how everything works in the human brain. By looking at how our brains process music -- at how we turn collections of sounds into patterns that we think of as songs, how we remember and categorize those patterns, and how we feel them as intense emotion -- Levitin and other scientists have uncovered important neural processes that had previously eluded researchers. The brain systems they discovered explain why music -- whether in high school or in life beyond -- can touch you so deeply: Our brains seem to have evolved to maximize musical ability. Indeed, Levitin argues, music has been essential to our very success as a species.
"This Is Your Brain on Music" | Salon Books

Hat tip: John deVille

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