[PREV - JONAHS_STRAVINSKY] [TOP]
Wed Feb 6, 2012
From p.141 of "Proust was a Neuroscientist"
by Jonah Lehrer:
"But how do we learn how to hear music? How does an
oblivion of noise become a classic modern symphony?
How does the pain of _The Rite_ become pleasurable?
The answer to these questions returns us to the brain's
unique talent: its ability to change itself. The
auditory cortex, like all our sensory areas, is deeply
plastic. Neuroscience, stealing vocabulary from music,
has named these malleable cells the cortico*fugal*
network, after the fugal form Bach made famous. These
contrapuntal neurons feed back to the very substrate of
hearing, altering the specific frequencies, amplitudes,
and timing patterns that sensory cells actually respond
to. The brain tunes its own sense of sound, just as
violinists tune the strings of their instruments.
"One of the central functions of the corticofugal network
is what neuroscience calls egocentric selection. When a
pattern of noises is heard repeatedly, the brain memorizes
that pattern. Feedback from higher-up brain regions
reorganizes the auditory cortex, which makes it easier to
hear the pattern in the future. This learning is largely
the handwork of dopamine, which modulates the cellular
mechanisms underlying plasticity."
I had this tabbed as "green" (for good)
but now wonder if it should be "pink" TABS
Doesn't Lehrer continually assume that
mental plasticisty must be the result
of the creation of new brain cells?
Granted that this *might* be the case,
has it really been established?
[NEXT - JONAHS_WOLFE]