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Neuroplasticity and the Musical Experience


Experiencing music as a listener, performer, or a composer is an active process that engages perceptual and cognitive faculties, endowing the experience with memories, joy, and emotion. Through this active auditory engagement, humans analyze and comprehend complex musical scenes by invoking its cultural norms, segregating sound mixtures, and marshaling expectations and anticipation. These remarkable feats are beyond our understanding and far exceed the capabilities of the most sophisticated music analysis systems. The goal of the proposed research is to investigate how cortical neuroplasticity in humans and animal models facilitates the musical experience over multiple time-scales, to explain how we assimilate musical norms and scales with long-term exposure, and rapidly recruit auditory-motor associations when listening to musical rhythms. The proposed research exploits neuroscience and computational approaches developed and effectively applied by the PI to study the cortical processing of speech. It will harness the power of these ideas and techniques to delineate the role of cognitive functions and adaptive sensory processing in forming musical structure and perception. The project builds upon the internationally recognized leadership of the PI in the fields of auditory cognition, cortical physiology, and computational neuroscience, and his pioneering research into rapid neuroplasticity in the auditory cortex. The project recruits the necessary complementary expertise both to record high-resolution spatiotemporal cortical responses to music in behaving humans, and to frame the proposed experiments in a musical context by garnering insights from music theory, performance, and composition. These diverse approaches will provide new insights into brain function; they will also promote a novel view of musical perception and cognition that will mutually benefit this team and the intellectually vibrant landscape of the neuroscience of music cognition in Paris and Europe

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 2 495 938,00
75230 Paris

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Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 2 495 938,00

Beneficiaries (1)