Why does music want to make us move and why does moving to music give us pleasure? What are the brain networks involved in the perception of rhythm and groove? PhD student Tomas Matthews is answering these questions using fMRI in collaboration with Dr. Maria Witek (University of Birmingham, UK) and Dr. Peter Vuust (Music and Mind Institute, Aarhus Denmark).
I play what I love
Is music we like easier to learn to play? Post-doc Roberta Bianco investigates whether melodies that are more musically predictable are better liked and better learned.
What I hear moves me
Does hearing a familiar melody prepare the brain to move? PhD student Oscar Bedford is testing this question using brain stimulation and EEG measures in collaboration with Dr. Robert Zatorre at the Montreal Neurological Institute.
Get an early start
Work from our lab has demonstrated that starting music training before age seven has long-term effects on behavior and the brain. PhD student Kierla Ireland has shown that children who start early have better perception of musical pitch. PhD student Jake Shenker is currently exploring changes in the cerebellum and motor regions in early starters.
Words and music
Bilingualism and music training are powerful long-term experiences. Post-doc Lucia Vaquero and students Paul-Noel Rousseau and Brian Gunther compare the effect of early- and late- bilingualism and music training on behavior and the brain.