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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.

Neuropsychologia

Matthew J. Heard and Yune S. Lee

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Overview

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.

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Yune S. Lee, PhD

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


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