Facebook pixel
Go to home page

Shared Neural Resources of Rhythm and Grammar: An ALE Meta-Analysis

Silhouettes of two heads, one with gears and the other with music notes. Includes a tan background with connecting lines and circles.


Matthew J. Heard and Yune S. Lee

Read full research article


Recent advances in brain research have revealed behavioral connections between musical rhythm and linguistic syntax. Using a meta-analysis of neuroimaging data, researchers found that musical rhythm is generated bilaterally in the sensorimotor network. In contrast, syntax is constructed mostly in the left half of this region.

Figure 1 shows (A) an example of a music sequence, (B) examples of the syntax used repetitively in the paper with the three stages: merge, movement, and reanalysis.

Share this article

Yune S. Lee, PhD

Assistant Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Director of Speech, Language, and Music (SLAM) Laboratory

Related Information

Sound Science: Researcher Investigates How Music Alters the Mind

Dr. Yune Lee anticipates that his research – funded by private and public sources, like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – can provide concrete neurological evidence revealing the benefits of sound therapy.

Music: A Brain Enhancer?

Hear Dr. Yune Lee talk about his creative journey and discuss some of his findings on the ways music may affect our brains.