Brain Research Reveals Automatic Musical Memory Functions in Children

Authors

  • Minna Huotilainen,

    1. Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
      Finnish Center of Excellence in Multidisciplinary Music Research, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
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  • Vesa Putkinen,

    1. Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
      Finnish Center of Excellence in Multidisciplinary Music Research, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
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  • Mari Tervaniemi

    1. Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
      Finnish Center of Excellence in Multidisciplinary Music Research, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
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Address for correspondence: Dr. Minna Huotilainen, Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 9, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. Voice: +358-9-1912 9844; fax: +358-9-1912 9450. minna.huotilainen@helsinki.fi

Abstract

Even though music has special meanings and values compared to other sounds, it is nonetheless processed in the brain via partly the same neural networks that are built to process all kinds of sounds. The development of these brain areas depends on the input: on the sounds that a child is exposed to and chooses to attend to. We present two brain research paradigms that can be used to assess the specialization of the brain for musical sounds, and show promising results with these paradigms in a group of young children who have music as their hobby.

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