Music and Language comprehension in the brain – a surprising connection by Richard Kunert (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and Radboud University Nijmegen, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Nijmegen)
14h Salle des voûtes,
fac St Charles, Pôle 3 C
How the comprehension of instrumental music and spoken or written language is implemented in the brain remains mysterious.
In this talk I present a new way to approach this issue.
In a series of studies we investigated music and language comprehension at the same time in order to gain insights into both.
Specifically, we asked whether these two kinds of stimuli are subserved by common neural circuitry despite their obvious differences.
It turns out that structural properties of language and instrumental music are both processed in a common brain area.
Does this truly imply shared structural processing or is this just a general effect related to attention?
It turns out that the effects of music on attention are actually limited.
Overall, the findings I will present suggest that music and language processing share very limited, and surprisingly specialized neural circuitry.
Overall, an interdisciplinary approach, as applied here, can open the way for asking ever more focused questions about brain organization.