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Watching music move through the brain

September 09, 2019

Scientists have observed how the human brain represents a familiar piece of music, according to research published in JNeurosci. Their results suggest that listening to and remembering music involve different cognitive processes.

Previous research has pinpointed areas of the brain -- primarily on the right side -- that are activated by music. However, less is known about how activity in these regions unfolds over time.

In a new study of male and female epilepsy patients, Ding et al. recorded electrical activity directly from the surface of the brain as participants listened to well-known pieces of music, including Beethoven's "Für Elise" and Richard Wagner's "Wedding March." A network of overlapping brain regions was associated with the act of listening to the music and continuing the melody in one's head. The researchers found that musical information traveled in opposite directions during these processes, flowing from sensory to frontal regions during listening and from frontal to sensory regions during recall.
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Manuscript title: Neural Correlates of Music Listening and Recall in the Human Brain

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About JNeurosci

JNeurosci, the Society for Neuroscience's first journal, was launched in 1981 as a means to communicate the findings of the highest quality neuroscience research to the growing field. Today, the journal remains committed to publishing cutting-edge neuroscience that will have an immediate and lasting scientific impact, while responding to authors' changing publishing needs, representing breadth of the field and diversity in authorship.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

Society for Neuroscience

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