Musical creativity and the brain

Charles Limb, Francis A. Sooy Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the chief of the division of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery at University of California, San Francisco
Tuesday, Oct 15, 5:30 PM - Advanced Studies Gateway Event
1300 FRIB Laboratory

Abstract:  Musical creativity has existed since the earliest days of human civilization. Until recently, how the brain actually produces musical ideas was poorly understood. Recent advances in brain imaging have allowed us to address questions of artistic significance that were previously felt to be inaccessible to scientific inquiry. Of the multiple creative processes that take place in music, improvisation—the spontaneous generation of musical material—provides an inspiring tool to study these processes. This presentation will highlight several functional neuroimaging studies that have examined the process of musical improvisation in expert jazz and hip-hop musicians, as a window into the complex neural processes that give rise to creativity. This talk is supported in part by the Michigan State University Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies.