Music is a central part of life for many of us, whether we listen, dance or play. It can shape our mood or transport our imagination, but what is going on in our brain? Can music be used to help an ailing brain, or boost a learning one? The UCSD SIMPHONY project, in collaboration with the San Diego Youth Symphony, is attempting to answer these questions by studying if music training has an impact on the development of children’s brains and other key skills.

What specific experiences might shape the growth of specific brain circuits? By understanding music’s power to shape the brain, our hope is to be a part of the answer to this groundbreaking question.

John Iversen is a UCSD neuroscientist studying music, language and the brain in an effort to understand how we perceive rhythm, and how musical rhythm can be used in medicine. John is also directing the SIMPHONY project, an ambitious collaborative longitudinal study of the impact of music training on brain and behavioral development. By night he’s the co-founder of San Diego Taiko, a group dedicated to sharing the dynamic energy of Japanese taiko drumming with the community.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

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