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From 9th to 12th June 2011, the Assembly Hall, New College, University of Edinburgh was home to approximately 400 researchers sharing their latest findings in how the brain processes music and how music affects the brain. The central theme of this year's The Neurosciences and Music conference, organised by the Mariani Foundation and locally hosted by scientific chair Dr. Katie Overy, was "Learning and Memory". Researchers were invited to present on the subthemes of infants and children, musicians and non-musicians, disabilities and aging, and therapy and rehabilitation. Featuring a keynote lecture by Prof. Alan Baddeley, the conference provided a forum for discussion amongst neuroscientists, psychologists, clinical neurologists, clinical psychologists, therapists, as well as music performers, educators and musicologists - a broad spectrum of attendees, who all left having gained something of interest to their field of work.
A first theme to emerge from the presentations and poster sessions, featuring nearly 250 posters, was the study of musical learning and neural plasticity. After discussing the neural bases of music processing and the emergent and learnt aspects of rhythm perception, researchers demonstrated that expertise in one style of music or one musical culture alters the way the brain processes music. Alongside these discussions, the conference explored issues relating to sensitive periods for learning, absolute pitch, mental representations and mental imagery, musical preferences, musical performance, and the neural correlates of emotional music perception. This within-music strand of the conference also addressed musical disorders, such as amusia and musical memory disorders, as well as music processing within other disorders such as autism spectrum disorders and Williams' syndrome.
The impact of plasticity on other areas of perception and cognition, most notably language, formed a second strand. Music training was shown to affect selective attention for the hearing of speech in noise, to affect the functional architecture of working memory for tones and phonemes, to develop speech segmentation, and to enhance the detection of pitch changes in speech. Several hypotheses concerning these effects of music training were explored, opening up exciting avenues of future research into the neural mechanisms underlying transfer effects between distinct domains of human cognition.
The third strand of this conference focussed on the therapeutic role of music. From dystonia to tinnitus, via aphasia, sensory-motor deficiencies and visual neglect, music was shown to aid recovery not only by providing clear auditory feedback for precise physical movements, but also by aiding cortical reorganisation. The therapeutic role of music was also demonstrated in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Williams' syndrome and autistic spectrum disorders. Many of the researchers presented moving case studies of patients either verbalising for the first time, or regaining motor and linguistic functions which had been lost through stroke, converting many music-therapy-sceptics through evidence of music playing a decisive role in the treatment of a wide range of neurological conditions.
The conference also provided an opportunity to learn about new methods. Behavioural and neuroimaging methods with infants, social observations of music making, reports of musical kindergartens, new techniques for the rehabilitation of stroke patients - no field of study was left short of new methods for tackling important questions. Attendees will also have noted the strong presence of PhD students and prospective PhD students, for whom this conference was followed by a European Brain and Music (EBRAMUS) workshop, held by the University of Edinburgh's Institute for Music in Human and Social Development (IMHSD). These two extra days were a further opportunity for them to develop their understanding of key issues surrounding music and the neurosciences, and learn about the role music can play in community and therapeutic settings.
Opened by Scottish music and ceilidh dancing, the conference ended with an open concert and a scratch jazz gig in which the speakers', poster presenters' and delegates' unleashed musical alter egos let music have the final word. Until the next conference, that is. Music and Neurosciences V is provisionally scheduled for 2014 in France. The fourth edition will, according to this year's attendees, be very hard to beat (no pun intended).
For the program, visit tinyurl.com/6ek46h6

Cara Featherstone

the psychologist

Here you can download the promotional material of "The Neurosciences and Music IV" (web resolution). If you need high resolution versions, please send an email to Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.

- pdf Flyer

- pdf Poster

- Review


The Mariani Foundation gives thanks to all the 60 applicants and inform that the 10 applicants admitted to the scholarships for The Neurosciences and Music IV meeting are:

Lilach Akiva-Kabiri
Philippe Albouy
Karen Chan
Kathleen Corrigall
Maria Dimatati
Sebastian Finkel
Kira Vibe Jespersen
Marcela Lichtensztejn
Sundeep Teki
Michiko Yoshie

Applicants admitted to the scholarship must register with our website and send an e-mail to Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo. by the end of April with the object "Scholarship for NMIV".

Later on, they will receive all the details to get the reimbursement after the meeting.
If some of the admitted applicant will not write the relevant e-mail within the end of April, it will be considered as if they do not attend the meeting and the scholarship will be given to another applicant.

Applicants not admitted to the scholarships may enrol in the conference paying the relevant fee, based on the submission date.

They must register with our website and send an e-mail to Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo., forwarding the scholarship application e-mail.

Later on, they will receive all the information to enroll at the relevant fee.

The "Neuromusic Community" (researchers, clinicians, musicians...) is invited to submit proposals for the Symposia. These should be organized around a specific topic related to the conference theme of Learning and Memory and in relation to the subthemes of "Infants and Children", "Adults: musicians and non musicians", "Disabilities and aging-related issues" and "Therapy and Rehabilitation". Each symposium should include 3-4 speakers who have made significant research contributions in their field.

Proposals should include:

a. A title and description of the aim of the symposium in relation to the conference theme* (1-2 paragraphs)
b. Abstracts of each proposed talk (1 paragraph each)
c. Confirmation of each speaker's availability**.

* Proposals can address different subthemes
** Proposals can include as speakers post doctoral fellows, but not PhD students

Proposals will be reviewed by the Scientific Committee and selected based on merit, interest to the research community and fit with the overall theme of the conference. Proposals should be sent by e-mail to: Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo. by 15th October, 2010.

Speaker benefits
Speakers will be our welcome guests for the duration of the meeting: their accommodation, enrolment and meals will be taken care of by the Mariani Foundation. Concerning the travel expenses, the Mariani Foundation will consider a maximum rate which will be calculated on the estimated cost of a discounted economy airfare (each individual budgeted fare will be communicated after the acceptance of the proposal).

The Mariani Foundation, thanks to the contribution provided by the Wellcome Trust, announces the availability of a limited number of scholarships to the ?Neurosciences and Music - IV? conference in Edinburgh.

- Applicants are required to send their CV with the accompanying letter to
Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.
- Applicants must send a poster (
access the relevant online form)

Preference will be given to:
- Scientifically sound abstracts
- Junior scientists coming from developing countries

Provisions: scholarship includes
- The Conference enrolment (including the participation in the scientific sessions; the Conference proceedings; coffee breaks and lunches and a special welcome event)
- A contribution up to a maximum of £500 per successful applicant for:
o Travel expenses (to be booked at the best available economy class rate)
o Accommodation for one person

The contribution will be sent to the successful applicants within 30 days after all the relevant receipts will be sent to Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo., upon conclusion of the meeting.

Application deadline
The applications must be received by March 15th 2011. The Scientific Committee will assess all the applications and the list of the accepted applications will be published on our website by March 30th 2011.

Applicants who are not admitted to the scholarships may subsequently enrol in the conference with the relevant fee, based on the submission date.

Eckart Altenmüller
Institute of Music Physiology and Musicians' Medicine (IMMM)
University of Music, Drama, and Media
Hannover, Germany

Alan Baddeley
Department of Psychology
University of York
York, UK

Simone Dalla Bella

WSFiZ, Warsaw, Poland
BRAMS, Montreal, Canada

Steven Demorest

School of Music
University of Washington
Seattle, USA

Takako Fujioka

Rotman Research Institute and Centre for Stroke Recovery
Baycrest, University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

Nadine Gaab

Harvard Medical School
Boston, USA

Andrea Halpern

Psychology Department
Bucknell University
Lewisburg, USA

Erin E. Hannon

Department of Psychology
University of Nevada
Las Vegas, USA

Pamela Heaton

Department of Psychology
Goldsmiths, University of London
London, UK

María Herrojo Ruiz
Department of Neurology
Charité- University of Medicine
Berlin, Germany

Krista L. Hyde
Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology
Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University
Montreal, Canada

Henkjan Honing
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Petr Janata
Department of Psychology
University of California at Davis
Davis, USA

Lutz Jäncke
Department of Psychology
University of Zurich
Zurich, Switzerland

Peter Keller
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Leipzig, Germany

Stefan Koelsch
Cluster of Excellence “Languages of Emotion”
Freie Universität Berlin
Berlin, Germany

Nina Kraus
Departments of Communication Sciences and Neurobiology
Northwestern University
Evanston, USA

Amir Lahav
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Boston, USA

Edward Large
Center for Complex Systems & Brain Sciences
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, USA

Psyche Loui
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Harvard Medical School
Boston, USA

Raymond MacDonald
Department of Psychology
Glasgow Caledonian University
Glasgow, UK

Maria Majno
System of children and youth orchestra and choirs in Italy
Milan, Italy

J. Devin McAuley
Department of Psychology
Michigan State University
East Lansing, USA

Martin Meyer
Department for Neuropsychology
University of Zurich
Zurich, Switzerland

Dorothy Miell
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, UK

Istvan Molnar-Szakacs
Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
University of California at Los Angeles
Los Angeles, USA

Richard Morris
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, UK

Nigel Osborne
The Institute for Music in Human and Social Development (IMHSD)
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, UK

Mathias Oechslin
Geneva Neuroscience Center FPSE
University of Geneva Uni Mail
Geneva, Switzerland

Katie Overy
The Institute for Music in Human and Social Development (IMHSD)
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, UK

Caroline Palmer
Department of Psychology
McGill University
Montreal, Canada

Christo Pantev
Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis
University of Münster
Münster, Germany

Aniruddh Patel
The Neurosciences Institute
San Diego, USA

Virginia Penhune
Laboratory for Motor Learning and Neural Plasticity
Concordia University
Montreal, Canada

Isabelle Peretz
International laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound research (BRAMS)
Université de Montréal
Montreal, Canada

Peter Pfordresher
Department of Psychology
University at Buffalo SUNY
New York, USA

Antoni Rodriguez-Fornells
Department of Basic Psychology
University. of Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain

Teppo Särkämö
Institute of Behavioural Sciences
University of Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland

Gottfried Schlaug
Department of Neurology Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School
Boston, USA

Daniele Schön
Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives de la Méditerranée
C.N.R.S and University of Marseille
Marseille, France

David Soto
Department of Medicine
Imperial College
London , UK

Lauren Stewart
Department of Psychology
Goldsmiths, University of London
London, UK

Mari Tervaniemi
Cognitive Brain Research Unit
University of Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland

Concetta Tomaino
Institute for Music and Neurologic Function
Beth Abraham Family of Health Services
New York, USA

Laurel Trainor
Department of Psychology Neuroscience and Behavior
McMaster University
Hamilton, Canada

Sandra Trehub
Department of Psychology
University of Toronto
Mississauga, Canada

Stefanie Uibel
Musikkindergarten Berlin
Goethe University Frankfurt
Berlin, Germany

Peter Vuust
The Royal Academy of Music and and CFIN
Aarhus University Hospital
Aarhus, Denmark

Catherine Wan
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Harvard Medical School
Boston, USA

Patrick Wong
Departments of Communication Sciences & Disorders and
Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Northwestern University
Evanston, USA

Robert J. Zatorre
Montreal Neurological Institute
McGill University and BRAMS laboratory
Montreal, Canada

Long version: 14':12"

Short version: 5':03"



The Neurosciences and Music - IV: Learning and Memory

(Adults and Non-musicians)

Symposia Proposal:

Title: Borderlands of Sound: A Musical and Neuropsychoanalytic Exploration

Laura Schwartz, LCSW

How do we use sound to understand the world around us? How do sound and music orient us? How do visual cues, language and sound combine in our brains to help us understand who and where we are, and how to get where we want to go?

"The world around us has sounds coming from every different direction, every possible language, and it's a very hard thing to understand. And our ability to understand that sound is completely driven by our expectations of what's there." Malcolm Slaney, Ph.D.

Stanford University-from the film "Borderlands of Sound"

In the fourteen-minute film, Borderlands of Sound, we follow four professional musicians as they enter a musical mystery and discover how they make order out of chaos, and by association, how we all use sound our daily lives to understand our environment, and how music is one example of a personal and cultural "map" of our internal relationship to that environment.

When the failure of the musicians' expectations becomes utterly disorienting, unmooring them from the conventions of their training, we see that the path to finding their way back to the music is the same path we all take as we move through our worlds. Borderlands Of Sound demonstrates how music is a universal experience, but at the same time, a highly personalized narrative expression of that individual experience.

Following the film, a short presentation will consider the neuropsychological elements illustrated in the film:

1) The use of self-reflection to orient to the unexpected situation;

2) The use of imagination (specifically, the looking backwards and forwards in the mind's eye) to plan a course of action;

3) The use of social cues and empathic attunement to stay collectively organized, and

4) The process by which newly created ideas are synthesized to form an organized experience, such as in a piece of music.

" The basic element of music is impressed on the human mind at the dawning of its perceptive awareness and inseparably accompanies it through every stage in its embodiment. ...As we approach the realm of music, we enter the realm of the archetypes, and may expect here to experience their power in undiluted form." (McGlashan,1987)



Laura Schwartz is a psychotherapist and filmmaker. With nearly two decades' experience working on the frontline with children, families and adults on issues as far reaching as diversity, immigration and cultural assimilation, life threatening and chronic illness, death, divorce, physical and emotional abuse, and addiction, she has, in addition, trained extensively in music, dance, visual arts and the theatre. She has consulted with Columbia University Teacher's College, California Partnership For Children, California Subject Matter Project (BAPHEP), California State Department of Mental Health, Family Services of Marin, and the Berkeley and Marin Unified School Districts on issues of neuropsychoanalytic development, mental health and wellness, diversity and tolerance, curriculum development and character education. Her arts training included a residency at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, (2005), and independent studies with director Mark Routhier (Magic Theatre 2002), sculptor Richard Deutsch (2000-present), metalsmith Adam Clark (2000-2008 ), and artists Ireneusz Ciesiolkiewicz (drawing, 2007) Lauryn Taylor (encaustics, 2007), and Cari Hernandez (encaustics, 2007). Borderlands of Sound, her first film, is currently being developed into a feature length film on Sound and Self. The film was shot at Skywalker Ranch and edited at Westwind Productions.


Edinburgh Convention Bureau has negotiated rates for The Neurosciences and Music IV 9-12 June 2011 and is pleased to offer a free online accommodation booking service to delegates attending this meeting.

To view and book the various accommodation options please click on the banner below.





Credit card details are required to make a booking and confirmation shall be sent to your e-mail address.

Payment should be made directly with the accommodation provider at the time of your stay.

To contact Edinburgh Convention Bureau, either e-mail: Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo. or telephone on +44 (0) 131 473 3874.