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Donald Hebbs& Cell Assembly Cells that wire together will fire together. Persistent activation of a cell assembly results in neuro-connectivity called Engrams Illustration: Nature Reviews – Neuroscience 2005
Fixed Action Patterns… “Automatic brain modules that make complex movements; well defined motor patterns, (walking, swallowing)” I of the Vortex - RudolfoLlinás Can be learned Can be innate Can be perfected
Playing music in your mind… Sacks discusses how he would “only glance at a score or think of a particular mazurka” and then “I not only would “hear” the music, but I “see” my hands on the keyboard… and “feel” them playing the piece…” (Sacks 34)
Playing the piano in your mind… A 2004 study showed that the same areas of the brain where activated when subjects imagined playing the piano as when actually playing the piano.
fMRIs of musical performance vs Imagery The cortical activations found for music performance The cortical activations found for musical imagery
Precuneus “Region of the brain that correlates positively with learning specific reactions to visual stimuli…” Cognitive Brain Research 19 (2004) 219-228
So what does this all have to do with music? Sacks discusses how musicians readapt after suffering lesions in the brain or other trauma.
Musicians: A model of neuroplasticity The complexity of the stimulus (music) The length of exposure to the stimulus Nature Reviews Neuroscience 3, 473-478 (June 2002)
Musicians: A model of neuroplasticity Five finger piano exercises have demonstrated that the motor cortex shows changes within minutes of practicing techniques… Alvaro Pascual-Leone at Harvard
Music as therapy “Every disease is a musical problem, every cure is a musical solution” ~ Novalis