O sing unto the Lord a new song….
Paul Recer, AP Science Writer, Nando Times, 12/13/02
Washington, December 13, 2002: A new study by researchers at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., suggests that recalling that melody is the job of a part of the brain known as the rostromedial prefrontal cortex. It is the part that remembers music and is even able to recognize a sour note in the midst of a familiar tune. A team led by researcher Petr Janata of Dartmouth’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience explored the mind’s memory for tunes by studying the brains of eight musicians as they listened to a bit of original music. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, which detects the part of the brain active in response to specific stimuli, they found that the ability to recognize music is contained in a centrally located area just behind the forehead.
The researchers reported that the brains of each of the subjects tracked the sounds in a slightly different way each time the music was played. Janata said the fact that the brain is naturally wired to appreciate and remember music suggests that the pleasant sounds were an important part of the human mind from the earliest of times. “It’s not necessary for human survival, yet something inside us craves it,” said Janata. [Emphasis added]