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Your brain on music

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2:28pm, July 30, 2010

Music lights up almost every area of the brain, which shouldn’t be a surprise since it makes people tap their feet, encourages the recollection of vivid memories and has the potential to lighten the mood.

Around the outside

1. Prefrontal cortex: This brain region plays a role in the creation, satisfaction and violation of expectations. It may react, for instance, when a beat goes missing. Recent work has shown that during improvisation a part of the prefrontal cortex involved in monitoring performance shuts down, while parts involved in self-initiated thoughts ramp up.

2. Motor cortex: Music is not independent of motion. Foot-tapping and dancing often accompany a good beat, meaning the motor cortex gets involved. And playing an instrument

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