This Is your Brain on Music

The Science of A Human Obsession

Levitin, Daniel J.

Book - 2006
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
This Is your Brain on Music
Penguin Putnam
Whether you load your iPod with Bach or Bono, music has a significant role in your life—even if you never realized it. Why does music evoke such powerful moods? The answers are at last be- coming clear, thanks to revolutionary neuroscience and the emerging field of evolutionary psychology. Both a cutting-edge study and a tribute to the beauty of music itself, This Is Your Brain on Music unravels a host of mysteries that affect everything from pop culture to our understanding of human nature, including:
• Are our musical preferences shaped in utero?
• Is there a cutoff point for acquiring new tastes in music?
• What do PET scans and MRIs reveal about the brain’s response to music?
• Is musical pleasure different from other kinds of pleasure?

This Is Your Brain on Music explores cultures in which singing is considered an essential human function, patients who have a rare disorder that prevents them from making sense of music, and scientists studying why two people may not have the same definition of pitch. At every turn, this provocative work unlocks deep secrets about how nature and nurture forge a uniquely human obsession.

Baker & Taylor
A scientific exploration of the relationship between the mind and music draws on recent findings in the fields of neuroscience and evolutionary psychology to discuss such topics as the sources of musical tastes, the brain's discernible responses to music, and the cultural origins of musical senses. 20,000 first printing. First serial, Discover Magazine.

Book News
Levitin (psychology of electronic communication, McGill U., Canada) is a former record producer, sound engineer, and session musician. Here he describes music from the perspective of cognitive neuroscience and examines recent studies that tie it to meaning and pleasure. He first explains the elements of music in a way that is both detailed and accessible to general readers, then outlines how the brain understands it. The mind develops expectations of music, he says, and creates categories. Other chapters look into the concept of emotion, musical preferences, and whether talent is inherent or can be learned. Finally, he considers music and evolutionary theory. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

Explores the relationship between the mind and music by drawing on recent findings in the fields of neuroscience and evolutionary psychology to discuss topics such as the sources of musical tastes and the brain's responses to music.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Dutton, c2006
ISBN: 0525949690
Branch Call Number: 781.15 L
Characteristics: vi, 314 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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This Is your Brain on Music
Levitin, Daniel J.
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