Peretz Neuroscientist article

Peretz Neuroscientist article - I REVIEW Brain...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
372 THE NEUROSCIENTIST Brain Specialization for Music Copyright © 2002 Sage Publications ISSN 1073-8584 To begin, I will introduce the topic of brain specializa- tion for music by way of two examples coming from clinical neurology. The first case is a professional com- poser, Vissarion Shebalin, who sustained a second vas- cular hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of the brain at the age of 57. This stroke left him speechless and deaf to the spoken world. Although Shebalin could no longer communicate verbally, he continued to compose until his death 4 years later. Shebalin was particularly prolific musically despite his vast left hemispheric lesion; he wrote 14 chorales, 2 sonatas, 2 quatuors, 11 songs, and 1 symphony. According to Shostakovitch, one of his peers, Shebalin’s music was undistinguishable from what he had composed before his illness (Luria and oth- ers 1965). The case of Shebalin, a musician with essen- tially no language consequent to brain damage, is known as the condition of aphasia without amusia . It is spec- tacular but not exceptional. Similar cases have been reported in the literature (e.g., Assal 1973; Basso and Capitani 1985; Signoret and others 1987). The second case, Isabelle R., represents the reverse condition. Isabelle R. is an ordinary woman, devoid of any apparently special talents, be it musical or linguistic. She was a restaurant manager when, at the age of 28, she underwent successive brain surgeries for the repair of ruptured aneurysms in the left and right middle cerebral arteries. She survived, but with two vast brain lesions invading the auditory cortex bilaterally and extending to the frontal areas on the right side (for more details, see Griffiths and others 2000). In this context, it is surpris- ing to note that Isabelle R. is fully functional in lan- guage, memory, and intelligence. She even writes poems (for an example, see Peretz and others 1997). Her per- sisting and major problem concerns music. Isabelle R. can no longer recognize the music that was familiar to her prior to her brain accident; she cannot relearn the musical corpus due to the fact that melodies no longer leave a trace in her memory; finally, she can no longer carry a tune. Isabelle R. regularly practiced these skills before her brain injury, and music was an important part of her life. She was raised in a musically inclined fami- ly; her only brother is a professional musician. Isabelle R. is a case of amusia without aphasia . This condition has been known for more than a century (Marin and Perry 1999), although more detailed cases have been documented recently (Peretz and others 1994; Griffiths and others 1997; Piccirilli and others 2000). The major conclusion to be drawn from these two
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 9

Peretz Neuroscientist article - I REVIEW Brain...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online