Pomona 1

Pomona College
25 October 2016

Additional information related to the presentation

You will find further information concerning this presentation in posts under the categories  Alzheimer’s and music, Brain hardwiring, Cognition, Infants and music, and Infants and language.  (Find the Categories link in the right hand column of this page).

Research discussed in presentation:

Corbeil, M., Trehub, S., & Peretz, I. (2015). Singing delays the onset of infant distress. Infancy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/infa.12114. pdf

Gerry, D, Unrau, A, and Trainor, LJ (2012). Active music classes in infancy enhance musical, communicative and social development. Developmental Science, 15(3), 398-407 View Abstract

Hannon, E. E., & Trehub, S. E. (2005). Tuning in to musical rhythms: Infants learn more readily than adults.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 102, 12639-12643. pdf

Hannon, E. E., & Trehub, S. E. (2005). Metrical categories in infancy and adulthood. Psychological Science, 16, 48-55. pdf

Kraus, N., & Chandrasekaran, B.  (2010).  Music training for the development of auditory skills. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11:599-605.

Limb, C. J., &  Braun,  A.R.  (2008). Neural Substrates of Spontaneous Musical Performance: An fMRI Study of Jazz Improvisation. PLoS ONE 3(2): e1679.

Partanen, E., Kujala, T., Tervaniemi, M., & Huotilainen, M. (2013).  Prenatal Music Exposure Induces Long-Term Neural Effects.  PLoS ONE, 8(10).

Trehub, S. E. (2010). In the beginning: A brief history of infant music perception. Musicae Scientiae. pdf

Trehub, S. E. (2001). Musical predispositions in infancy. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 930, 1-16. pdf

Winkler, I., et.al. (2009).  Newborn infants detect the beat in music.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(7).

Zentner, M., & Eerola, T. (2010).  Rhythmic engagement with music in infancy.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(13).


Charles Darwin, 1871.  The Descent of Man.   Contains a few pages about music’s original role in sexual selection.

Daniel J. Levitin, 2006.  This is Your Brain On Music:  The Science of a Human Obsession.  How we experience music and why it is so important in our lives.

Steven Mithen, 2006.  The Singing Neanderthals: the origins of music, language, mind, and body.    Music as fundamental to the human condition, existing before language.

Steven Pinker,  1997.  How the Mind Works.   “As far as biological cause and effect are concerned, music is useless. . . music could vanish from our species and the rest of our lifestyle would be virtually unchanged. Music appears to be a pure pleasure technology.” p 528   A fascinating book, as long as you disregard his views on music.

Oliver Sacks, 2007.  Musicophilia, Tales of Music and the Brain.  Sacks’s classic about the place music occupies in the brain, and what happens when neurological impairments cause enjoyment of music to go awry;   2010.   The Mind’s Eye.  First chapter is about Lillian Kallir, the pianist who lost the ability to understand musical notation (Musical Alexia)


Charles LimbYour Brain on Improv   A TEDx talk by Limb about putting jazz musicians and rappers  in a brain scanner to see where in the brain improv happens.

Vissarion Shebalin, Symphony No. 5, 1962  Written 10 years after Shebalin first suffered from a series of strokes.  Shebalin suffered from aphasia, but maintained music abilities.

Recording of bird-bone flute from 40,000 years ago

Derek Paravicini    Derek on 60 Minutes  Musical savant with exceptional music abilities, but below average intelligence.

Derek’s website

In the key of genius – TED talk by Derek Paravicini and his teacher Adam Ockelford

Alive Inside, documentary about the work of Dan Cohen with Alzheimer’s patients and music.  Excerpt from the documentary about a patient named Henry.  Music and Memory is the Foundation he created to put iPods with personalized playlists in the hands of Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes throughout the country.  Read about it in A Musical gift that changes lives.

The MusiCorps Wounded Warrior Band performing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah with Oleta Adams and the Kansas City Symphony; with Roger Waters at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.; playing Wide River to Cross with cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the Kennedy Center.


Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University.  Run by Nina Kraus.  Contains information about music and the brain, as well as lists of Kraus’s publications.

MusiCorps – Conservatory-level music program for severely injured servicemen at Walter Reed started by pianist/composer Arthur Bloom.