This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
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This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

by

Whether you load your iPod with Bach or Bono, music has a significant role in your life—even if you never realized it. Why does music evoke such powerful moods? The answers are at last be- coming clear, thanks to revolutionary neuroscience and the emerging field of evolutionary psychology. Both a cutting-edge study and a tribute to the beauty of music itself, This Is Your Brain on Music unravels a host of mysteries that affect everything from pop culture to our understanding of human nature, including:
• Are our musical preferences shaped in utero?
• Is there a cutoff point for acquiring new tastes in music?
• What do PET scans and MRIs reveal about the brain’s response to music?
• Is musical pleasure different from other kinds of pleasure?

This Is Your Brain on Music explores cultures in which singing is considered an essential human function, patients who have a rare disorder that prevents them from making sense of music, and scientists studying why two people may not have the same definition of pitch. At every turn, this provocative work unlocks deep secrets about how nature and nurture forge a uniquely human obsession.

Title:This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
Edition Language:English
ISBN:0525949690
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:314 pages

    This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession Reviews

  • Jackie
    Jun 26, 2010

    A book is the wrong medium for this information. As I read this book, I kept wishing I was watching a PBS show version of it instead, where I could HEAR the music Mr. Levitin was referencing, and see ...

  • Matthew
    Sep 17, 2007

    There's a lot of amazing stuff in this book to contemplate, but the author tries too hard to make it relevant for readers who listen to the Eagles and Mariah Carey (musicians he specifically sites), a...

  • Patricia
    Jul 06, 2008

    It wasn't until I was half-way through this book that things started to get really interesting. As a musician, the first half was like retaking Music 101, but I felt this was a book I need to read, so...

  • Sam
    Mar 24, 2008

    Seemingly for musicians or composers this book is more fitting a read for scientists and doctors. Not much content is musicianship related. Middle third is a bore.What I learned:- There is no sound in...

  • Mike Bularz
    Feb 04, 2008

    From the reviews I've seen here, the material seems to have passed over most people's heads (by being too rough, or the phrase you'll come across a few times, "I didn't feel like I walked away exclaim...

  • Pamela W
    Feb 23, 2008

    I really despise myself for giving what should be an awesome book only 2 stars. I know I am mentally feeble, but was this ever dry!!! Interesting topic - neuroscience & music - but the author did go o...

  • Ken
    Feb 15, 2008

    This is one of those books that I think is a valuable read but not necessarily an enjoyable one..at least for the general reader. If you bring a background in neuroscience then this is a treasure ches...

  • Michael
    Aug 17, 2012

    “A” for effort and ambition and “C” for execution. He tries to be all things to all people, bouncing too much from folksy to scholarly and from self-referential to didactic perspectives. Levit...

  • Bill
    Feb 07, 2009

    Someone left this behind in the cubby of the plane seat on a flight I took in December. As I'd finished my magazines, I picked it up, and then couldn't put it down. What was most fascinating about the...

  • Nikki
    Dec 27, 2016

    Despite loving singing, and having been good enough to perform and not have people run away, I know very little about music. Not that Levitin would be a snob about that, from the sound of this book, b...

About Daniel J. Levitin

Daniel J. Levitin

Daniel J. Levitin runs the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University, where he holds the Bell Chair in the Psychology of Electronic Communication. Before becoming a neuroscientist, he worked as a session musician, sound engineer and record producer. He has written extensively both in scientific journals and music trade magazines such as Grammy and Billboard.ht