I’m a musician so I sure like music. Lately I’ve been collecting some new research:
- Actually, some people really just don’t like music.
It is often said that music is a universal language. However, a new report finds that music doesn’t speak to everyone. There are people who are perfectly able to experience pleasure in other ways who simply don’t get music in the way the rest of us do (read more here).
- But how does our brain recognizes familiar music?
Research reveals that the brain’s motor network helps people remember and recognize music that they have performed in the past better than music they have only heard. A recent study sheds new light on how humans perceive and produce sounds, and may pave the way for investigations into whether motor learning could improve or protect memory or cognitive impairment in aging populations (read more here).
- Should we start music early on? Well, we’ve known for quite while the Mozart-effect is a myth, but 2 randomized trials provide no consistent evidence for nonmusical cognitive benefits of brief preschool music enrichment. Still, don’t use this research to abolish music in (pre)school, please!
- And to conclude, a study of jazz players shows that common brain circuitry processes both music & language. The brains of jazz musicians engrossed in spontaneous, improvisational musical conversation showed robust activation of brain areas traditionally associated with spoken language and syntax, which are used to interpret the structure of phrases and sentences. But this musical conversation shut down brain areas linked to semantics — those that process the meaning of spoken language, according to results of a novel study (read more here).
(and if you wonder what kind of music I’m making, check here)