NACS Seminar: "The Music of Cognitive Neuroscience"

Friday, September 22, 2023
10:15 a.m.
1103 Bioscience Research Building

Speaker: Pablo Ripollés (New York University)

Title: "The Music of Cognitive Neuroscience"

Abstract: Cognitive neuroscience methods can be used to assess the neural mechanisms supporting the processing of music. However, music is a really interesting stimulus, able to activate auditory, motor, and reward and memory-related brain circuits, among others. In this regard, music can be leveraged to probe the human brain in general. We call this The Music of Cognitive Neuroscience. In this talk, I will show results from recent studies from our lab in which we use music to understand the brain mechanisms supporting reward, memory, and motor processing. First, I will show how the reward generated by music itself (not a primary or secondary, but an abstract reinforcer) modulates memory formation through dopaminergic processing. I will then introduce a new study that leverages music and computational modelling to assess not only the effects of reward, but also the effects of novelty on memory formation. I will then turn to the use of music to understand motor processing, introducing the results of a pilot study assessing music improvisation and its modulation of not only motor, but reward-related mechanisms. Finally, I will also talk about a new wearable device developed at the lab that allows for the tracking of reward-markers of music in naturalistic environments.

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