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Music, Language, and the Brain

Music, Language, and the Brain Background Among the remarkable achievements of the present intellectual age are the momentous inroads that have been made into what is arguably the last great frontier of science: the study of the enigmatic, imponderable workings of the human mind. We live in the wake of what has been called the “cognitive revolution,” a surge of new theoretical concepts and methodologies that arose from a rich interdisciplinary cross-fertilization, one perhaps unequaled in modern times. The cynical behaviorist approach of the early- to mid-twentieth century, which sought to understand mental processes only through their directly observable manifestations (i.e., behavior), was overtaken with a new approach that recognized in the human mind a discoverable (albeit not directly observable) logic and structure. Benefiting from analogies to the digital computer, cognitive science imagined the “black box” of the mind as actively occupied with describable processes of representation and computation and sought to bring those processes to light through experimentation. Decades later, the black box itself would be penetrated with the help of some astounding technological advances that exposed the physical brain to the scrutiny of imaging and mapping techniques, thereby shedding new light on centuries-old questions at the heart of the philosophy of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Music Theory Duke University Press

Music, Language, and the Brain

Journal of Music Theory , Volume 54 (2) – Sep 1, 2010

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2010 by Yale University
ISSN
0022-2909
eISSN
1941-7497
DOI
10.1215/00222909-1214948
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Background Among the remarkable achievements of the present intellectual age are the momentous inroads that have been made into what is arguably the last great frontier of science: the study of the enigmatic, imponderable workings of the human mind. We live in the wake of what has been called the “cognitive revolution,” a surge of new theoretical concepts and methodologies that arose from a rich interdisciplinary cross-fertilization, one perhaps unequaled in modern times. The cynical behaviorist approach of the early- to mid-twentieth century, which sought to understand mental processes only through their directly observable manifestations (i.e., behavior), was overtaken with a new approach that recognized in the human mind a discoverable (albeit not directly observable) logic and structure. Benefiting from analogies to the digital computer, cognitive science imagined the “black box” of the mind as actively occupied with describable processes of representation and computation and sought to bring those processes to light through experimentation. Decades later, the black box itself would be penetrated with the help of some astounding technological advances that exposed the physical brain to the scrutiny of imaging and mapping techniques, thereby shedding new light on centuries-old questions at the heart of the philosophy of

Journal

Journal of Music TheoryDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2010

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