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Petr Janata, UC Davis, USA: Music, memories, and the brain

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  • Distinguished Lecture
When Feb 21, 2013
from 04:30 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Clara Lichtenstein Hall (C-209), Strathcona Music Building, 555 Sherbrooke St. West, Montreal
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Music-evoked autobiographical memories and associated emotions such as nostalgia are among the strongest experiences that individuals have when listening to music. This lecture describes behavioral and neuroimaging experiments, combined with computational approaches to describing the manner in which music moves about in tonal space, as a way of understanding how such experiences manifest themselves in the brain.


Petr Janata is on the faculty in the Psychology Department and Center for Mind and Brain at UC Davis.  He received his B.A. from Reed College and his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. After investigating song perception and song learning in songbirds as a post-doc at the University of Chicago, he went to Dartmouth College and incorporated functional neuroimaging methods into his music perception research. His projects have examined expectation, imagery, sensorimotor coupling, memory, and emotion in relation to tonal, rhythmic, and timbral information. His work emphasizes the use of models of musical structure to analyze behavioral and brain data.  In 2010 he received a Fulbright Fellowship to do research at the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, and in the same year he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to further his investigation of what music-evoked autobiographical memories can tell us about the functional organization of the brain.



APA video archive:

Janata, P. (2014, June 6). Music, memories, and the brain -
CIRMMT Distinguished Lectures in the Science and Technology of Music. [Video file].
Retrieved from

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