cSCAN Rounds

About the relationship of music and language in the human brain

Language and music are two primary channels of human auditory communication, and their similarities have long interested scholars. The current paper presents a series of studies focusing on the relationship of music and language from different viewpoints. First, the neuroanatomical overlap of syntax processing in both domains will be briefly reviewed, with a particular focus on Broca’s area and its potential domain-general role also beyond music and language. Second, evidence will be presented for the role of the corpus callosum as an interface between linguistic syntactic and prosodic information, i.e. the “musical side” of speech. Finally, the talk will focus on the relationship between lyrics and tunes in the processing of songs, a special instance of human communication in which verbal and musical information are tightly bound. University of Glasgow, Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Department of Neuropsychology