Music offers a unique opportunity to better understand the organization of the human brain. Like language, music exists in all human societies. Like language, music is a complex, rule-governed activity that seems specific to humans, and associated with a specific brain architecture. Yet unlike most other high-level functions of the human brain--and unlike language--music is a skil at which only a minority of people become proficient. The study of music as a major brain function has for some time been relatively neglected. Just recently, however, we have witnessed an explosion in research activities on music perception and performance that correlates in the human brain. This volume brings together an outstanding collection of international authorities--from the fields of music, neuroscience, psychology, and neurology--to describe the amazing advances being made in understanding the complex relationship between music and the brain.
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Isabelle Peretz is in the Department of Psychology, University of Montreal. Robert Zatorre is at the Auditory Processing Laboratory, Montreal Neurological Institute.Review:
There are few things more exciting than an entirely new scientific field, a new attempt to understand another aspect of our human existence - now it's music's turn. Here is a collection of papers from leaders in the discipline, trying to tease apart exactly what goes on inside the brain when it experiences music. It is a bafflingly huge subject and the editors should be applauded for bringing so much expertise to a single tome... The book is a mixed bag, some chapters are far more accessible than others to the general neuroscientist - but this is a minor criticism. Each chapter of the book plays like a section of a small orchestra, contributing to the magnificent whole. * The Lancet Neurology *
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