Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Neuroscience Tuesday

Figure Caption: Three-dimensional surface projection of activations and deactivations associated with improvisation during the Jazz paradigm. Medial prefrontal cortex activation, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex deactivation, and sensorimotor activation can be seen. The scale bar shows the range of t-scores; the axes demonstrate anatomic orientation. Abbreviations: a, anterior; p, posterior; d, dorsal; v, ventral; R, right; L, left.
That image comes from Study: Prefrontal Cortex In Jazz Music Winds Down When Improvising. Just a clip:

Scientists funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) have found that, when jazz musicians are engaged in the highly creative and spontaneous activity known as improvisation, a large region of the brain involved in monitoring one’s performance is shut down, while a small region involved in organizing self-initiated thoughts and behaviors is highly activated.

The researchers propose that this and several related patterns are likely to be key indicators of a brain that is engaged in highly creative thought.

The blue spots indicate reduced brain activity. The yellowish-reddish spots indicate increased brain activity. I'm always looking for new or newish material to share with my physio psych students. This will fit the bill.

See also: Where Science and Free Jazz Intersect

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