Fwd: more on the fun-damentals of music


Subject: Fwd: more on the fun-damentals of music
From: Kevin Austin (kevin.austin@videotron.ca)
Date: Tue Mar 01 2005 - 05:36:34 EST


FWD from AUDITORY

   1. Musical abilities are among the last to be lost in cases of brain damage?

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Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 14:12:12 +0100
From: Martin Braun <nombraun@TELIA.COM>
Subject: Re: Musical abilities are among the last to be lost in cases of brain
          damage?

Isabelle Peretz wrote:

"When carefully tested, non-fluent aphasics produce as few words in
singing and speaking. ..... However, it is true that aphasics enjoy
singing much more than speaking."

A key concept here seems to be "enjoy". And the controversies around
these observations are very interesting, because they reflect a
general difference between the music scholar's view on music and the
biologist's view on music. Music scholars usually think that music
perception is skill based, and that in this respect it is similar to
language perception. According to this view, music processing should
be equally vulnerable as language processing in cases of brain
damage, as Robert Zatorre pointed out.

 From a biologist's point of view, however, much of music appreciation
is independent of skills. It is based on basic subcortical processes,
which are indeed highly "immune" (Robert Zatorre) against brain
damage. These areas, particularly in the brainstem, are the last to
be affected by anesthesia, intoxication and degenerative disorders.

Today we have data showing similar signs of appreciation of Mozart's
music in rats as in humans. These signs have been measured in
autonomic neural activity and in neurochemistry. Clearly, the rats
had no language-like skills to perceive Mozart's music. But they
still could show that their brains loved it. See this report:

http://web.telia.com/~u57011259/Sutoo.htm

(This link includes a link to background theory and a link to a sound
sample of the music that was played to the rats).

Martin

----------------------------
Martin Braun
Neuroscience of Music
S-671 95 Klassbol
Sweden
web site: http://w1.570.telia.com/~u57011259/index.htm

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 11:39:22 EST
From: Harriet B Jacobster <Hjacobster@AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: Musical abilities are among the last to be lost in cases of brain
          damage?

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In a message dated 2/28/2005 8:37:49 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
nombraun@TELIA.COM writes:

Today we have data showing similar signs of appreciation of Mozart's music
in rats as in humans. These signs have been measured in autonomic neural
activity and in neurochemistry. Clearly, the rats had no language-like
skills to perceive Mozart's music. But they still could show that their
brains loved it.

This seems not only biologically based but logical as well. Music, or
melodic and rhythmic patterns, has long been the method of
communication in many animal species. Music therefore would be a
more primitive innate ability.

In response to an earlier question, there have been documented
occurrences of composers continuing to compose even after the onset
of dementia; one famous example is Ravel who composed his Bolero
while in the throes of dementia.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Harriet B. Jacobster, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA
Board Certified in Audiology
Clinical Supervisor
Mercy College
Dobbs Ferry, New York
(914) 674-7742
hjacobster@mercy.edu



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