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Book Commentary on Musicophilia: Tales of Music and The Brain

Oliver Sacks, author of Musicophilia, is a distinguished best-selling author as well as physician and professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center.  He has even been referred to as, “the poet laureate of medicine” by the New York Times.  His other works include Awakenings (1973), The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (1985), An Anthropologist on Mars (1885) amongst numerous others.

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The Key to Artistic Creativity: Synesthesia, the Mind’s Metaphor

We often think of the flow of neural impulses as linear, and emphasize its terminal locus – i.e., we classically think of perception, an action, or an utterance as the terminal stage of some process whose locus is somewhere in the cortex. We think of perception as a one-way street, traveling form the outside world inwards, dispatching a linear stream of neural impulses from one relay to ever more complex ones, so that the process is metaphorically like a conveyor belt running through stations in a factory, until a perception rolls off the end as the finished product” (Cytowic, 1995).

 

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Perfect Pitch: A Central Pattern Generator Leftover?

    In all of my four years here at Bryn Mawr, I have been a part of one of the on-campus a capella groups.  Last year, I had the privilege of being the 'pitch,' or better known as the musical director, of that a capella group.

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Western Culture of Science and its Synthesis of Mental Health and Illness

The face of mental health in the Western world has certainly changed throughout time and history, revealing its fluid nature.  Mental illnesses have continuously been defined, redefined, disregarded, categorized, recategorized, and rated according to the perceived needs of a community of patients.  In the New York Times article The Americanization of Mental Illness, Watters explains that changes in the expression of mental health and illness across global cultures are due to, “…those who minister to the mentally ill – doctors or shamans or priests – inadvertently help to select which symptoms will be recognized as legitimate.”   The key word here in ‘inadvertently.’ What does Watters mean when

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