Brain Pt. 1

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Brain Pt. 1

  1. 1. Psychology of Music Learning Miksza - Spring ‘09 WEEK TWELVE Music and Brain Research …from Hodges (1996)
  2. 2. Hodges (1996) • Brain, brain stem, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, autonomic nervous system • Cerebral cortex – most ‘distinctly human’ functions • Occipital lobes – vision • Parietal lobes – sensory processing • Temporal lobes – hearing • Frontal lobes – long-term planning, motor control, movement control, speech production – Sensory zone – information from the senses – Motor zone – control and coordination of muscle movement – Association zone – cognitive interpretation understanding
  3. 3. Hodges (1996) • Sensory cortex – A map of the body surface • Motor cortex – Initializes movement • Limbic system – Chemical processes and emotions • Brain stem – Automatic body functions - breathing • Cerebellum – Muscle coordination, rote movements
  4. 4. Hodges (1996) • 100 billion neurons – 100 million per cubic inch – Neurons grow in size and connections early in life – rich sensory environments stimulate the connections – impoverished limits – Single neuron receives 100,000 to 200,00 signals – Synapses are connecting points – Nerves either fire or they don’t – they don’t range in intensity, just rate – Synapses are altered by experience
  5. 5. Hodges (1996) • Cognitive neuroscientists – try to explain behavior based on neurophysiological data • Competing models of brain function – Triune: reptilian, paleomammalian, neomammalian • Evolutionary approach – Split-brain: Hemispheric function • Left: verbal, sequential, logical, analytic • Right: nonverbal, holistic, intuitive, synthesizing – Varies with handedness – Neural network: input, middle/hidden, output layers of overlapping processes • Logarithmic descriptions of brain processes
  6. 6. Hodges (1996) • See Table 1 for effects of brain damage on musical ability – amusia… • Although it is often the case, losses of musical ability are not always linked to losses of language abilities • Some studies suggest that musical abilities may require more widely distributed neural processes than language – Therefore, it is more difficult to draw conclusions about lateralization and musical abilities • See page 218 and 219 for methods of testing for various levels/types of amusia
  7. 7. Hodges (1996) • Dichotic listening tasks and hemisphericity – Two conflicting aural stimuli, one in each ear (usually with headphones) – Think back to discussion of ipsolateral and contralateral pathways from the ear… – 70% of nerve fibers go to opposite hemisphere (contralateral) – Very tentative, general findings – vary greatly with subtle changes in task and individuals studied • Right hemisphere – sound gestalt • Left hemisphere – sequential, analytic processes • See Table 2 for studies…
  8. 8. Hodges (1996) • Electroencephalogram (EEG) – Monitoring electrical activity in the brain in terms of frequency (Hz) – Electrodes near frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal areas • Delta – deep sleep • Theta – dreaming • Alpha – conscious/relaxed • Beta – full alertness (consider term ‘beta-blocker) – Interesting results from many studies but significant patterns or generalizations are difficult to find due to methodological differences in stimuli and tasks
  9. 9. Hodges (1996) • EEG continued… – Alpha production found to decrease with music listening – Musical expectancy is somewhat detectable in brain wave activity (other than alpha) – e.g., resolutions – Musicians show more coherence across hemispheres and adjacent areas (e.g., parietal, occipital) – Larger planum temporale for musicians who started prior to age 7 or had perfect pitch – Larger corpus callosum • Raises issue of whether musical training leads to reorganization of the brain
  10. 10. Hodges (1996) • Auditory Event-related Potential – Tying stimuli to electrical events in a time-bound fashion – ERP’s are a result of cognitive processes that are generated in response or as a result of sensory perception • N1 – negative wave 100ms after stimulus – Attention • N4 – negative wave 400ms after stimulus – Violated expectation • P3 – positive wave 300ms after stimulus – Short-term and long-term memory exchange » Lack of P3 in subjects with absolute pitch…
  11. 11. Hodges (1996) • MRI – magnetic resonance imaging – Subject placed inside large magnet – Provides structural, but not functional information • PET – positron emissions tomography – Radioactive substance in bloodstream – Depicts blood flow in brain – Subtract PET at rest from PET w/musical stimuli to see activity attributable to musical activity – Can try to pin down localizations for ‘most’ activity, but many areas of the brain show some activity given musical stimuli
  12. 12. Hodges (1996) • Neuromotor aspects… • Sensory-motor cortex – where body map (i.e., homunculus is located) – Where conscious decisions to contract muscles are processed – More space is devoted to face and hands – Body map is redrawn with experience • Basal Ganglia – Sends messages to spinal cord and groups of muscles • Cerebellum – Maintaining balance, coordinating intricate movements, monitoring feedback, storing habituated patterns • Motor cortex and cerebellum must work together to carry out complex tasks… – Cerebellum runs entire sequences of motor activity at once – Important that programming is done correctly early on • Mental practice – Evidence that mental practice can stimulate the brain in similar ways to physical practice
  13. 13. Hodges (1996) • Summary points – All humans are born with a musical brain – Human musical brain is different from animals – Musical brain operates in infancy and perhaps even in fetal stages – Musical brain is dependent on neural systems has localized functions, but is widely distributed – Musical brain has cognitive components – Musical brain has affective components – Musical brain has motor components – Degree of lateralization is up for debate – Musical brain is resilient – Early and ongoing training affects the organization of the musical brain

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