Some Neurons in Your Brain Respond to Singing but Not Other Music [Smithsonian Magazine]

Photo by Matt Botsford @mattbotsford on Unsplash
February 25, 2022

by Margaret Osborne

Excerpt:  "Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have discovered that a specific set of neurons located in the auditory cortex in the brain respond to singing but not other sounds like speaking or instrumental music.

“This work suggests there’s a distinction in the brain between instrumental music and vocal music,” says study author Sam Norman-Haignere, who was formerly an MIT researcher and is now a professor of neuroscience at the University of Rochester Medical Center, to New Scientist’s Jason Arunn Murugesu.

The research team measured neural responses to sounds using a technique known as electrocorticography (ECoG), a process of recording brain activity by placing electrodes directly on the brain’s surface. Electrocorticography is not typically performed in humans because of its invasiveness, but it is used to monitor epilepsy patients who are about to have surgery to treat seizures, per a statement from MIT. Patients can opt in to participate in studies while they are already being monitored. ... "

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