Music and the Mind: How the Brain is Affected by Music
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Music is often thought of as a nonverbal language, capable of communicating emotional messages. Areas of the brain have been identified that, when damaged, affect only musical skills. At the same time, while the initial sensation of the sounds that make up music is a predominantly auditory experience, the neural basis of music perception lies in several different areas of the brain and overlaps with those used in language, emotion, and motor tasks. Thus music is a complex experience that utilizes seemingly divergent abilities of the brain. This thesis will describe the systems level processing of music perception and implications for music therapy.