Thursday, November 01, 2007
Our Brains on Music, and Musicophilia
Steven Pinker has called music useless, with no adaptive value. Oliver Sacks and Daniel Levitin beg to differ. I'm currently reading and enjoying Oliver Sacks' new book: Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain. I'm linking you to a review of this book by Laura Garwin in the current issue of Nature that notes that our brains seem to be finely tuned to music, and asks of what use are our musical powers and passions? She also reviews Levitin's "This is Your Brain on Music: Understanding a Human Obsession." I also thoroughly enjoyed reading this book this past spring, it has a very accessible introduction of the fundamentals of music structure and brain mechanisms associated with music processing.