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Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

Music, Memory and the Brain at TERC Feb 6

Posted on January 31, 2014
Filed Under North Tahoe Events

Beatles Abbey Road wikipediaUC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center presents an enlightening public lecture on the science of music on Thursday, February 6. Entitled “Music, Memory and the Brain,” it features Dr. Petr Janata of the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain and his research on neurological links between music and memories.

We all have certain songs that bring back vivid memories—a first crush, a family vacation, or even just riding in the car with friends. Why does music form such strong associations? In this presentation Dr. Petr Janata will provide some answers from his research focused on how music and autobiographical memories interact. Using brain imaging technology, Dr. Janata and his team have found that one part of the brain in particular, the medial prefrontal cortex, seems to serve as a “hub” that links music, memories, and emotions. This region of the brain is one of the last to atrophy over the course of Alzheimer’s disease, so this research has implications for potential breakthroughs in music-based therapies for patients with Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Petr Janata has been a professor at the Center for Mind and Brain since 2004. He received his PhD from the University of Oregon’s Institute of Neuroscience and has also taught at Reed College and Dartmouth College. His research lies in the fields of cognitive neuroscience and neuroethology and includes studying music-evoked autobiographical memories to understand how the brain supports music, emotion, and memory.

The program will begin at 6pm at the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences, located at 291 Country Club Drive in Incline Village (between Tahoe Boulevard/SR 28 and Lakeshore Blvd.) on the campus of Sierra Nevada College.

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