Seed Talks: The Neuroscience of Music

Wednesday 24 July 2024

Doors 19:00

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The ability to make sense of musical sound has been observed in every culture since the beginning of recorded history. In early infancy, it allows us to respond to the sing-song interactions from a primary caregiver and to engage in musical play. In later life, it shapes our social and cultural identities and modulates our affective and emotional states. In this illuminating talk, Professor Lauren Stewart will show that the ability to perceive and make sense of musical sound is remarkably sophisticated, and can be acquired simply by being exposed to the music of one’s own culture.

From those who have too little music in their lives (those with ‘congenital amusia’) to those with too much (musical earworms or even hallucinations), we will consider what we can learn from studying these phenomena scientifically. Finally, we will explore the therapeutic potential of music, with examples from stroke rehabilitation and perinatal mental health in sub-Saharan Africa. This talk will give you a unique insight into music, its place in our lives, communities and culture and why it has been referred to as ‘the most underutilised health asset on the planet’.

Doors open at 7pm, talk starts at 7.30pm – come down early to grab a good seat!