Music: The Universal Language?

Lecture | September 18 | 3-5 p.m. | Dwinelle Hall, B-4 (Classroom side)

 Charles Limb, Professor and Chief of Otology, UCSF

 Berkeley Language Center

Musical creativity has existed since the earliest days of human civilization. Until recently, how the brain actually produces musical ideas was poorly understood. Recent advances in brain imaging have allowed us to address questions of artistic significance that were previously felt to be inaccessible to scientific inquiry. Of the multiple creative processes that take place in music, improvisation—the spontaneous generation of musical material—provides an inspiring tool to study these processes. This presentation will highlight several functional neuroimaging studies that have examined the process of musical improvisation in expert jazz and hip hop musicians, as a window into the complex neural processes that give rise to creativity.

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