Language and music in humans and animals

Research shows that humans and animals are emotionally "tuned". But an important distinction is that humans have two communication systems: language and music. He uses both to express his emotions. But: where does music begin? In the animal kingdom? Or is it, after all, an invention of early man? How is music organized in the brain?

In a study, Eckart Altenmüller compared the brains of pianists who started playing early with those of pianists who started later and those of non-musicians. The differences were significant: among other things, the regions for emotions, movement automation, hand control and for analyzing melodies are developed differently. Then the surprise: some of these brain regions are smaller in musicians who made music in early childhood! This leads to the interpretation that people who start making music later need larger neural networks for the same skill level.

Prof. Dr. Eckart Altenmüller is a musician and director of the Institute for Music Physiology and Musician's Medicine at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media.

In the context of the International Science Festival - Geist Heidelberg

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Date: 15.11.2022

Time: 20:00


Eckart Altenmüller