Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Hearing Rachmaninoff makes me think of Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven Year Itch"
I. Am. So. Obsessed. *sigh*
Music make me cry and smile like a fool. It's the best mind/mood altering drug there is. And you get addicted, and it costs money, but it's better for you than other drugs. So, I'm sticking with it.
This is from yesterday's Science Times--my favorite section of the New York Times, besides (of course) the Sunday Arts....
Music and Emotion
Q. Why is it that when I listen to particularly beautiful or moving music I get goose bumps and even cry?
A. It is well known that areas of the brain that recognize and process music are linked with areas that handle emotions, and scientists are gradually mapping these areas in greater detail with brain-imaging technology.
Last year, a study by English researchers at the University of Newcastle, published in The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, drew important insights from a single case, a 52-year-old radio announcer who lost his emotional response to music after a stroke.
He was still able to recognize music that had given him particular pleasure, by Rachmaninoff, but he no longer experienced the intense emotional states that used to come from listening to it.
Ordinarily, the researchers said, a stroke that causes loss of emotional response is accompanied by a loss of musical perception, called amusia.
In this patient's case, however, they were able to separate musical perception from the emotional response and thus to identify a particular area of damage, called the left insula, as being involved in the emotional processing of music.
It is part of a widely distributed brain network recruited by other powerful emotional stimuli, producing arousal of the autonomic nervous system and leading to various physiological reactions.
C. CLAIBORNE RAY