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Scientific Lectures //

Brain Mapping of Music-Evoked Memories

Petr Janata, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology and Center for Mind and Brain, University of California, Davis

Presented: January 26, 2017

ABSTRACT: Music-evoked autobiographical memories (MEAMs) and associated emotions such as nostalgia comprise some of the most meaningful experiences that people report having with music. In this talk I will discuss studies of MEAMs in laboratory settings and their real-world implications. Using 30-second excerpts of popular music from a person's youth it is possible to evoke a large variety of memories and examine the brain's responses to these remembering experiences using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). I will describe ways in which computational modeling techniques for describing the time-varying tonal structure (melodies and harmonies) in music are used to study, in more detail, how the brain engages with music. I will also discuss more recent work aimed at developing "neurobiographies" by mapping hundreds of MEAMs in individual people.

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