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How Brain Responds As The Beat Goes On

Armen Hareyan's picture

A study has uncovered how the human brain responds to the transition from one movement to the next in a piece of music.

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The results of the groundbreaking study co-designed by McGill Psychology Professor Dan Levitin and conducted by a Stanford team led by graduate student Devarajan Sridharan and including researchers Chris H. Chafe, Jonathan Berger and Vinod Menon appear in the August 2 edition of the journal Neuron.

"This study is the first to show that there is a distinct brain network that defines the beginnings and endings of events in music, probably in preparation for memory encoding," said Prof. Levitin, James McGill Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and author of the recent bestseller This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession.

The team recruited subjects drawn from the general population of Stanford and the surrounding community of Palo Alto, CA. The subjects were placed inside a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner