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The Science and Technology of Music

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This is Your Brain on Music

CIRMMT researcher Dan Levitin's new book, This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, explores research into how our brains process the works of artists as varied as Beethoven, the Beatles and Britney Spears, and why they make us feel so good.

By better understanding what music is and where it comes from, we may be able to better understand our motives, fears, desires, memories, and even communication in the broadest sense. Is music listening more like eating when you're hungry and thus satisfying an urge? Or is it more like seeing a beautiful sunset or getting a backrub, and thus triggering sensory pleasure systems in the brain? Why do people seem to get stuck in their musical tastes as they grow older and cease experimenting with new music? This is the story of how brains and music co-evolved  - what music can teach us about the brain, what the brain can teach us about music, and what both can teach us about ourselves.


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