Virginia B. Penhune
Brain imaging studies have demonstrated that music training can change brain structure, predominantly in the auditor-motor network that underlies music performance. The chapter argues that the observed differences in brain structure between experts and novices, and the changes that occur with training derive from at least four sources: first, pre-existing individual differences that promote certain skills; second, lengthy and consistent training which likely produces structural changes in the brain networks tapped by performance; third, practice during specific periods of development which may result in changes that do not occur at other periods of time; fourth, the rewarding nature of music itself, as well as the reward value of practice which may make music training a particularly effective driver of brain plasticity.
During listening, acoustic features of sounds are extracted in the auditory system (in the auditory brainstem, thalamus, and auditory cortex). To establish auditory percepts of melodies and rhythms (i.e., to establish auditory “Gestalten” and auditory objects), sound information is buffered and processed in the auditory sensory memory. Musical structure is then processed based on acoustical similarities and rhythmical organization. In addition, musical structure is processed according to (implicit) knowledge about musical regularities underlying scales, melodic and harmonic progressions, and so on. These structures are based on both local and (hierarchically organized) nonlocal dependencies. This chapter reviews neural correlates of these processes, with regard to both brain-electric responses to sounds, and the neuroanatomical architecture of music perception.
Donald A. Hodges and Michael H. Thaut
Numerous pioneers laid the groundwork for current neuromusical research. Beginning with Franz Joseph Gall in the eighteenth century, and continuing with John Hughlings Jackson, August Knoblauch, Richard Wallaschek, and others, these early forerunners were interested in localizing musicality in the brain and learning more about how music is processed in both healthy individuals and those with dysfunctions of various kinds. Since then, research literature has mushroomed, especially in the latter part of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The current volume features the work of fifty-four authors who have contributed over 350,000 words in thirty-three chapters. These chapters are organized into sections on music, the brain, and cultural contexts; music processing in the human brain; neural responses to music; musicianship and brain function; developmental issues in music and the brain; music, the brain, and health; and the future.
Michael H. Thaut and Donald A. Hodges
This final chapter of The Oxford Handbook of Music and Neuroscience tries to appraise potential new horizons for future brain-based research in music, including new trajectories in the neuroscience of music perception and production, clinical applications, music learning, musician health, and intersections of biology, culture, and aesthetics. The study of music as a science and an object of scientific inquiry has actually a long and rich history in human culture and the more prevalent belief that music should, as one of its primary functions, express and induce emotions, is a relatively recent one—firmly implanted only since the early nineteenth-century Romantic period (Berlyne, 1971). The evidence presented in the previous chapters has provided a comprehensive basis to shape a future architecture of basic and applied neuroscience research in music, whose outlines are sketched out here. Therefore, as a draft for future possibilities, this chapter contains few new references. The references for this chapter are the previous chapters.