Speaking in Tones Abstract

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Kenny Jones Dani Tubman Biology May 30, 2012 Abstract: Speaking in Tones by Diana Deutsch The author Diana Deutsch, a professor of psychology at the University of California, San Diego who studies the perception of music and language wrote the article, Speaking in Tones which explains that unlike previously believed, our brains process music and language in overlapping areas of the brain rather than in two distinctly separate regions. The article reports several different types of research projects (including the author’s own research) about the link between music and language summarizing that there is strong evidence that music and language influence each other in a myriad of ways and are neurologically and functionally interwoven. Scientists by the mid-twentieth century believed that language and music were processed in defined separate areas of the brain because brain damaged people still retained musical ability. Language resided on the left and music on the right. By the late 1990s researchers questioned this idea and delved into research without a preconceived attachment previous beliefs. New technologies such as using MRIs, showed that regions thought to be used primarily for language or music were both used in some tasks. This makes sense because language and music have things in common such as an underlying foundation and structure, like grammar, where there are established rules that must be used. Research further shows that another facet of speech, called prosody, which includes things like pitch level, range and contour, loudness variation, rhythm and tempo help us understand the flow and meaning of words also occurs in music. In this article research is cited about how babies likely become familiar with their mother’s voices in the womb and prefer to hear it over other women’s voices. Music and language are so intertwined that music

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