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The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music
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The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music

Isabelle Peretz and Robert J. Zatorre


Music offers a unique opportunity to understand better the organization of the human brain. Like language, music exists in all human societies. Like language, music is a complex, rule-governed activity that seems specific to humans, and associated with a specific brain architecture. Yet unlike most other high-level functions of the human brain — and unlike language — music is a skill at which only a minority of people become proficient. The study of music as a major brain function has for some time been relatively neglected. Just recently, however, we have witnessed an explosion in research ac ... More

Keywords: music, human brain, human societies, language, brain architecture, skill, brain function, neuroscience, psychology, neurology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780198525202
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198525202.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Isabelle Peretz, editor
Department of Psychology, University of Montreal

Robert J. Zatorre, editor
Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal



Part I The Origins of Music

Part II The Musical Mind

Part III The Neurons of Music

Part IV Musical Brain Substrates

Part V Musical Expertise/Brain Plasticity

Part VI Relation of music to other Cognitive Domains

End Matter