As we pass through life we interact with and experience music in many ways. Sometimes we pay attention to it; other times we do not. Often we move along with music, not only as performers but also as engaged listeners who tap their feet, bob their heads, or simply follow the music with their minds. Perhaps for most, music intertwines itself with our life narratives. Hearing songs from our past often evokes vivid memories and strong emotions (Sloboda and O’Neill 2001, Juslin and Laukka 2004, Janata et al. 2007). Given the many ways in which we experience music, and the central role it plays in cultures around the world, one is drawn to the questions of why music engages the human brain so strongly and how it is that the brain enables these various forms of musical experience? Part of answering these questions depends on understanding what constellations of brain areas might allow music to interact so profoundly with the self. In other words, what are the brain areas that allow music to move us or to evoke such strong memories?
KeywordsPrefrontal Cortex Supplementary Motor Area Autobiographical Memory Musical Activity Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex
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