Dr. Ani Patel, psychology professor at Tufts University, will present a public lecture and sign his book, Music, Language, and the Brain, on Thursday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Daniel Recital Hall as part of a two-day residency at Converse College. The event is free of charge. Patel’s lecture will explore the mental processes involved in making, perceiving, and responding to music, especially what the similarities and differences between the two reveal about each other and about the brain itself. His visit is sponsored in part by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Foundation.
Patel’s research…has led him to challenge the widespread belief that music and language are processed independently.
Patel’s research, which includes brain imaging, behavioral experiments, theoretical analyses, acoustic research, and comparative studies with nonhuman animals; has led him to challenge the widespread belief that music and language are processed independently. Since Plato’s time, the relationship between music and language has attracted interest and debate from a wide range of thinkers. Recently, scientific research on this topic has been growing rapidly, as scholars from diverse disciplines, including linguistics, cognitive science, music cognition, and neuroscience are drawn to the music-language interface as one way to explore the extent to which different mental abilities are processed by separate brain mechanisms. Patel believes that music and language share deep and critical connections, and that comparative research provides a powerful way to study the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying these uniquely human abilities.
After completing undergraduate and doctoral work at the University of Virginia and Harvard University, Patel joined The Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, CA. Dr. Patel has served as President for the Society for Music Perception and Cognition and received the Music has Power Award from the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function in New York City. He speaks widely on the topic and was featured at Nobel Conference 47 in 2011.