Music and the Brain
December 16, 2016 Neuroscience, Podcast 1 Comment

Episode 159

Music has been an integral part of human culture through the ages, providing a driving force behind many emotions and affecting our brains in various different ways. We have two scientists joining us in episode 159 – Dr. Robert Zatorre from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital and Dr. Assal Habibi from the University of Southern California – who’re both studying the inner workings of how listening to music, playing an instrument and so forth have neurological and in many cases cognitive impact on the brain.

Dr. Zatorre and Dr. Habibi approach the study of music and it’s effect on the brain in slightly different ways and the dual perspectives result in in a very interesting, albeit a longer than usual episode. So brace yourself, grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage, sit back and enjoy.

Curious about the video Jesse mentioned? 
Here’s the link to this very cool idea about resetting the world’s common calendaring system back 10,000 years, delineating “The Human Era.”

Episode Highlights

0:37Music and the brain
1:46This Week in Neuroscience:Longer ‘penis’ drives evolution of bigger brains in female fish
5:43The audience interaction section
9:30Introduction to Dr. Robert Zatorre and Dr. Assal Habibi
11:00Why both doctors began studying music
13:36Are there any music-less cultures?
14:49Group music programs to develop cognition in children
16:49What is happening when we get chills while listening to music?
20:31Music and brain plasticity
23:39The evolutionary advantage for humans to be drawn to music
27:33What variables affect how a child will ‘connect’ with music?
29:25What was the evolutionary pressure for people to appreciate music?
32:33Changes in the abilities that rely on sound
37:33Differences in the brains of musicians, music-lovers and the “music anhedonic”
40:22Executive function in people exposed to music
44:58Studies Dr. Zatorre would like to conduct next
46:14Music training for deaf children
47:19Anticipation, expertise and reward with music-listening
49:18Other similar music studies
52:51Ruthless Listener-Retention Gimmick: Why Some Songs Get Stuck in Our Head
Written by Jesse Lawler
Jesse Lawler is a technologist, health nut, entrepreneur, and "one whose power switch defaults to On."  He created Smart Drug Smarts to learn how to make his brain do even more, and is greatly pleased to now see his little baby Frankenstein toddling around and helping others.  Jesse tweets about personal optimization, tech, and other stuff he finds interesting at @Lawlerpalooza.
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