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The fifth international congress of neurosciences and music will take place in France, in Dijon and will focus on “Cognitive Stimulation and Rehabilitation”. It is conceived as a continuation of the previous meetings on the relation between Neurosciences and Music organized by the Mariani Foundation which dealt with “Mutual interactions and implications on developmental functions” (Venice, 2002), “From perception to performance” (Leipzig, 2005), “Disorder and plasticity” (Montreal 2008), “Learning and Memory” (Edinburgh, 2011). Cognitive stimulation is a fascinating issue, which taps into a crucial aspect of the human brain: its neural and functional plasticity. Understanding the cognitive and neural mechanisms that govern this plasticity is a key issue for human life and basic science, and has tremendous implications for society in terms of technology, education and healthcare. In healthy individuals, cognitive stimulation aims to boost cognitive and motor functions for specific purposes and to reduce the harmful effects of aging. In patient populations, cognitive stimulation is a non-pharmacological method to recover brain and motor functions after brain injury or delayed mental development. It opens new perspectives for therapeutic approaches designed to improve the well-being of patients suffering from various diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. Music has several advantages for cognitive and brain stimulation. It is highly enjoyable and engaging, notably for patients, and it presumably taps into cognitive, emotional and motor processes that involve numerous brain areas. The congress will present the most striking research demonstrating the effects of music on brain and cognitive plasticity, cognitive development, language, communication and socialization, and the rehabilitation of motor and cognitive deficits in patients.
The program will include a Keynote Lecture, selected Symposia, Poster Sessions and Pre-conference Workshops, which will be held in the afternoon of May 29. In addition, a supplementary session open to the general public is planned in the morning of May 29. The scientific meeting will be of interest for neuroscientists and psychologists (including students) and also to clinical neurologists, clinical psychologists, therapists, music performers and educators as well as musicologists. Dijon has been selected because of the Université de Bourgogne and its LEAD-Laboratoire d'Etude de l'Apprentissage et du Développement, a cognitive psychology lab whose research activity focuses on changes in information processing mechanisms during development. The LEAD also coordinated the European research program EBRAMUS (European BRAIn and MUSic) on “New perspectives for stimulating sensory and cognitive processes”.
Thanks to the partnership with the Municipality of the Town of Dijon, special parallel activities in this Medieval town as well as in the Region (the “Côte d’Or”) will complement the intense scientific program. As venue the delightful Grand Théâtre, with its historic atmosphere, has been chosen, and the welcome event will be hosted in the magnificent Palais des Duc, next to JP Rameau’s native house. Music will remain present continuously during the congress, thanks to a Rameau concert (Airs & Symphonies) given by Le Concert d’Astrée (conductor E. Haïm) in the city auditorium (May 30), as well as informal musical sessions organized for the participants (May 31), and other smaller musical events to be discovered on time and place. The pedestrian areas surrounding the Theatre offer numerous “cafés and bistrots” appropriate for further brain storming sessions.