How Music Shapes the Brain

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Duration 01:05:33

University of San Francisco

Neuroscientist and opera singer/director, Indre Viskontas, is an associate professor of psychology at The University of San Francisco. Combining a passion for music with scientific curiosity, she also is pioneering the application of neuroscience to musical training at The San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In addition to co-hosting the docuseries Miracle Detectives on the Oprah Winfrey Network, and hosting the popular science podcast Inquiring Minds, Professor Viskontas is also the Creative Director of Pasadena Opera. Dr. Viskontas has published over 50 papers and chapters related to the neural basis of memory and creativity, and is the author of How Music Can Make You Better.


Neuroscientist and opera singer/director, Dr. Indre Viskontas, illustrates the wide-ranging power of music to shape our brains, heal our pain and strengthen our communities. The musician’s brain is hailed as a model of neuroplasticity, because of the many ways that learning and performing music changes it. But even listeners’ brains are altered, as brainwaves entrain to rhythms and brain activity and neurochemistry track the rise and fall of the music.  In this talk, Dr. Viskontas will explain the magical way in which music can bring us together–even in a pandemic.


Discussion Questions:

1. How can you use music strategically to improve your life?

2. What can music tell us about what it means to be human?

3. What makes great music great?






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Stuart Greenman

Everything you want in a presentation

This lecture is a wonderfully engrossing hour that delivers what its title promises. It’s chock full of startling facts, moments of profundity, and surprises. Who knew that cricket chirps slowed down 20 times sound like the music of the spheres? The lecturer’s precision and knowledge are fully put to use.

2 years ago
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