The Starry Night isregarded as one of Vincent Van Gogh’s best works and is probably one of the most well-known images in art, having been appropriated for everything from mugs to mouse pads to desktop wallpaper.
Van Gogh’s The Starry Night
I recently happened upon a very unusual version of Starry Night – a video of the iconic image created by falling dominoes. As I watched the dominoes fall (or not, in some cases), it struck me that the falling dominoes are a perfect analogy for motor programs in the brain as we perform a piece from memory.
In my first post, I wrote that many neuroscientists believe that “making music is the most complex cognitive activity that a human being engages in.” Some readers wondered why, so let’s talk about it. After the research that’s been done in the past two or three decades, neuroscientists believe that the processing of music in the brain happens in multiple separate modules or neuronal networks – each processing some aspect of music, all working together to make it possible to listen to, and to perform, music. Imagine for the next few paragraphs that you are playing an instrument and let’s look at a very simplified version of what is happening in your brain. Continue reading →