Sylvius Music & Brain Masterclass 29 November 2018

Sylvius Masterclass Symposium 

for LIBC members, Leiden University students and scientists

Location: FSW, Pieter de la Courtgebouw, Wassenaarseweg 52, Leiden. Room 1A20
Date&time: 29 November, 3 pm


Psyche Loui, Wesleyan University meets Aniruddh Patel, Tufts University


portrait Psyche Loui

Cognitive neuroscience studies of musical improvisation as a window into human creativity by Psyche Loui

Few would argue that creativity is a cornerstone of human culture and innovation, or that the human brain is capable of creative ideas and actions; yet how the brain realizes creative acts is poorly understood. Creativity is a process that manifests itself in many forms, including in music. While musicians of all traditions engage in some aspects of creative practice, musical improvisation, which is a core part of the training in jazz music, represents a stereotyped form of real-time creativity that engages multiple cognitive and neural mechanisms within multiple time-scales. I will describe our recent cross-sectional and longitudinal studies on the neuroscience of creativity, using jazz improvisation as a model. Using a combination of behavioral testing, EEG, and structural and functional MRI, we show that expertise in musical improvisation is related to perception, imagery, expectation, and affective judgment, not only in musical performance but also in domain-general tasks. These abilities rely on perception and action, default mode, and executive control networks in the brain. Results inform a conceptual model of musical improvisation as a complex system of idea generation and evaluation that provides insights into what creativity means, what it entails, and how we can cultivate more creativity in our lives. More



peoplePatel 100x135

The evolutionary neuroscience of musical beat perception by Aniruddh Patel

The ability to perceive a beat in rhythms (a fundamental aspect of music cognition) seems simple, but is surprisingly complex from the standpoint of cognitive and neural processing.  Cross-species research has also revealed that humans and our primate cousins are surprisingly different in terms of beat processing, and that we may share more with certain bird species than with other primates in terms of this capacity.  These findings directly contradict an old intuition (dating back to Darwin) that rhythm and beat processing tap into ancient, widespread brain mechanisms shared by many animals.  In this talk I will discuss beat processing from neuroscientific and cross-species perspectives, and illustrate how research on this topic can illuminate the evolutionary history of music cognition.



Registration: this Masterclass is available for students and scientists. 
Registration via the following link
Registration has to be confirmed by the LIBC



  • Prof.dr. Lisa Cheng
  • Prof.dr. Claartje Levelt
  • Dr. Rebecca Schaefer


More information:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Share us