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Music and the Effect on the Human Brain

Why do some people have rhythm and some don't? Why are some people tone deaf? Is it genetic? We talk with two neuroscientists about how our brains process music.

Music and the Effect on the Human Brain

Originally aired on January 14, 2008.

Tom Fudge : Musicians aren't necessarily considered to be the most brilliant people among us. But consider the fact that understanding music and appreciating music is something that only humans can do. It is one of the unique aspects of the highly-developed human brain. Aside from that, it's hard to know what purpose music has served in human society, and in the human experience. All humans have music, and archeological digs seem to show that we've had it since the time of the Neanderthals. But why do we have it, and what does it tell us about being human?

These are questions that brain researchers are trying to answer. A couple of the world's most respected researchers in this field are here in San Diego at the Neurosciences Institute .

Guests

  • John Iverson , Karp Foundation fellow at the Neurosciences Institute.