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The brain science behind music

    This is Science Today. Music provides a lot of different things for different people — yet for those who actively practice an instrument or sing, there are great benefits for the brain.

Janata:        There are all sorts of studies looking at brain plasticity that show in fact our brain thrives on that form of practice.

Narrator:    Petr Janata, an associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis', Center for Mind and Brain, studies the brain science behind music.

Janata:        I try to understand how we perceive music and then why we have the various reactions that we have to music — the evoking of memories or the experiencing of emotions.

Narrator:    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, Janata discovered a region of the brain where autobiographic memories are stored and retrieved, also serves as the hub that links familiar music to emotion and memories. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.