Tuesday, July 26, 2011

the power of music

The brain feels musical beats, and even makes up its own when interpreting songs. Researchers asked volunteers to listen to a somewhat ambiguous musical beat and then to imagine it as either a march or a waltz while scientists recorded electrical activity in the brain. Listening to the beat as if it were a march (one-two, one-two) caused neurons to fire in a one-two pattern, whereas a waltz triggered a one-two-three pattern of brain activity, researchers from Belgium and Canada report in the July 13 Journal of Neuroscience. —Laura Sanders