3aSC4. Music and speech in a neuropsychological perspective.

Session: Wednesday Morning, May 15

Time: 11:10

Author: Isabelle Peretz
Location: Dept. of Psychol., Univ. of Montreal, CP 6128, Centre-ville, Montreal, PQ H3C 3J7, Canada


Neuropsychology --- defined as the study of the relations between brain organization and mental functioning --- has concerned itself from its earliest days with the processing of speech and music. The first steps were taken in the speech domain, via the observation of selective speech impairments following damage to specific areas of the brain (Broca, in Von Bonin, Some Papers on the Cerebral Cortex; Wernicke, in Brain Function 3, 1--16). These initial findings swiftly prompted the exploration of music disorders (Bouillaud, Bull. Acad. Med. 30, 752--768). Such observations are labeled aphasia and amusia, respectively, and reflect a long-standing concern to describe the selectivity of the disorders observed. This issue of specificity is even more prevailing/acute in contemporary neuropsychology, with the advances made in brain imaging and in experimental psychology. Current knowledge will be summarized and organized along two main questions: (1) Is music, like speech, subserved by neutral circuitries devoted to its processing? (2) What are the boundaries of neuropsychological separability between music and speech?

from ASA 131st Meeting, Indianapolis, May 1996