Lateralisation

Imagining the “Dallas” theme tune is a right-brained affair

Title of paper under discussion When That Tune Runs Through Your Head: A PET Investigation of Auditory Imagery for Familiar Melodies Authors Andrea R. Halpern and Robert J. Zatorre Journal Cerebral Cortex, Vol. 9, No. 7, pp. 697-704 (Oct 1999) Link to paper (free access) Quick summary Here are four of this paper’s most important …

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Women are better at processing melodies heard in their left ears

Title of paper under discussion Laterality effects in the processing of melody and timbre Authors RUSS BOUCHER and M. P. BRYDEN Journal Neuropsychologia, Vol. 35, No. 11, pp. 1467-1473. 1997 Link to paper (free access) Overview Listening with headphones to a series of musical excerpts – each of which was in fact two different melodies …

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A singing brain has a busier right hemisphere than a speaking one

Title of paper under discussion Shared and distinct neural correlates of singing and speaking Authors Elif Özdemir, Andrea Norton and Gottfried Schlaug Journal NeuroImage, vol 33 (2006), pp 628–635 Link to paper (free access) Overview Scan the brain of someone tackling a musical task and then take a further scan as they tackle a language …

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Musicians’ brains have an enlarged speech area – and it keeps growing with experience

Title of paper under discussion Increased Gray Matter Volume of Left Pars Opercularis in Male Orchestral Musicians Correlate Positively With Years of Musical Performance Authors Ihssan A. Abdul-Kareem, Andrej Stancak, Laura M. Parkes and Vanessa Sluming Journal JOURNAL OF MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING 33:24–32 (2011) Link to paper (free access) Overview Broca’s area, a region in the left …

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Interrupted cadences trigger musicians’ right hemispheres within 200 milliseconds

Title of paper under discussion Early neuronal responses in right limbic structures mediate harmony incongruity processing in musical experts Authors Clara E. James, Juliane Britz, Patrik Vuilleumier, Claude-Alain Hauert, Christoph M. Michel Journal NeuroImage, Volume 42, Issue 4, 1 October 2008, Pages 1597-1608 Link to journal (open access) Overview Reckoning that interrupted cadences “should evoke a …

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Musicians with absolute (perfect) pitch have a ‘pruned’ planum temporale in their right cerebral hemisphere

Title of paper under discussion Absolute Pitch and Planum Temporale Authors Julian Paul Keenan, Ven Thangaraj, Andrea R. Halpern and Gottfried Schlaug Journal NeuroImage, 14(6):1402-8, January 2002 Link to original paper (open access) Overview The planum temporale (PT), a triangular area just behind the primary auditory cortex on each of the two temporal lobes , …

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