Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Event Details

Special Lecture: Making Music Changes Brains

Date: September 12, 2011

Time: 4:10PM to 5:10PM

Location: Room 241 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center


"Making Music Changes Brains: Implications for Brain Development, Brain Disorders, and Neurorehabilitation"

Gottfried Schlaug, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory and Stroke Recovery Laboratory
Division Chief, Cerebrovascular Diseases
Associate Professor of Neurology
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School

Recent research has shown that long-term music training and associated sensorimotor skill learning can be a strong stimulant for neuroplastic changes in the developing as well as in the adult brain. Listening to music and making music evokes motions and emotions, increases communication and interaction, and is experienced as a joyous and rewarding activity through activity changes in the amygdala, ventral striatum, and other components of the limbic system.

New insights from brain research using music listening and music making experiments have changed our understanding of how music can be used in rehabilitation and incorporated into therapies geared towards retraining and rewiring an injured brain. Neurologically based approaches to music therapy techniques are now emerging and being implemented in well-designed studies. Music makes rehabilitation more enjoyable, can provide an alternative entry point into a “broken” brain system, and can remediate impaired neural processes or neural connections by engaging and linking brain centers in the frontal and temporal lobes.

Dr. Schlaug’s research focuses on the mechanisms of recovery following stroke, including the use of music in rehabilitation therapy and in language intervention for children with autism. His lab studies the relationship between music and language processing in the brain, and how music evokes activity in the central nervous system that affects mood and emotion.

A reception will follow the lecture.

No registration is necessary.


Amy Pottier, (615) 322-8144

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