Pomona 2

Pomona College
26 October 2016

Additional information related to the presentation
Music – and Mirrors in the Mind

In the right-hand column on this page, scroll down under Categories and click on Mirror neurons to find eight posts that discuss mirror neurons in greater detail.  Additionally, you can find more information about Chia-Jung Tsay’s visual studies on this site at:  Are you listening to the music – or watching the performer?;  Are you listening or watching? part II;  and Now from a jury member.


Marco Iacoboni. 2008.  Mirroring People:  the science of empathy and how we connect with others.    A fascinating book about one of the great neuroscience discoveries of the past 20 years.

Gregory Hickok. 2014.   The Myth of Mirror Neurons:  the real neuroscience of communication and cognition.  An alternate view of mirror neurons.  Although Hickok agrees that mirror neurons exist and that they are important in observation, he thinks the claims have been overblown in terms of their role in empathy, language, and autism.

Jill Bolte Taylor.  My Stroke of Insight:  A brain scientist’s personal journey.  A Harvard-trained brain scientist writes about her own stroke and her journey to recovery.  And she writes about learning to present again to an audience (after her stroke) by watching a video of herself (mirror neurons).


Svard, L. (2010).  The Musician’s Guide to the Brain:  how to use brain science in the study of music.  MTNA e-journal.   February 2010.   (Discussion of mirror neurons)

Tsay CJ.  (2013).  Sight over sound in the judgment of music performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA  110(36): 14580-14585. (The reference list in this paper is an extensive list of research about the primacy of the visual.)

Tsay, CJ.  (2014).  The vision heuristic:  Judging music ensembles by sight alone.  Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 124: 24-33.


Three-year old Jonathan conducting 4th movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

The Art of Piano:  Great Pianists of the 20th Century   You Tube link.  This is also available as a DVD through Amazon.

The Art of Conducting:  Great Conductors of the Past.    DVD seems to be currently unavailable.

Piano Legends:  Chick Corea Host

My Stroke of Insight.    Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED talk (over 19 million views at this point)

Simon Rattle conducts 6 Berlin school orchestras

Simon Rattle conducts John Williams: Indiana Jones


McMaster University’s LIVELab, a research center for music and the mind.  Check “Current Studies” under the Research tab to see some of their exciting research.