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MENC Handbook of Musical Cognition and Development$
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Richard Colwell

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304565

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304565.001.0001

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The Neurobiology of Music Cognition and Learning

The Neurobiology of Music Cognition and Learning

(p.40) 2 The Neurobiology of Music Cognition and Learning
MENC Handbook of Musical Cognition and Development

Wilfried Gruhn

Frances Rauscher

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces neuropsychological and neurophysiological research as it relates to learning. It also introduces some learning theories that essentially can be viewed as theories of cognition, and clarifies the question of transfer of learning, which sometimes serves as a justification for music education in schools. This chapter reviews four different approaches to investigating learning: behaviorism, constructivism, sociohistorical theory, and connectionism. Learning is the process by which one develops and incrementally differentiates mental representations. Therefore, music learning focuses on the development of genuine musical representations that are characterized by different forms of encoding. Research on individuals with mental disorders has clearly demonstrated that musical abilities develop independently of other domains of cognition.

Keywords:   music education, music learning, behaviorism, constructivism, sociohistorical theory, connectionism

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