NYTimes.com Article: Research Suggests Great Conductors Can Tune (Bo Gehring )

Subject: NYTimes.com Article: Research Suggests Great Conductors Can Tune
From:    Bo Gehring  <bgehring(at)FP3D.COM>
Date:    Thu, 1 Feb 2001 14:57:03 -0500

This article from NYTimes.com has been sent to you by bgehring(at)fp3d.com. Thought this might be of enough interest to post. The question it begs is whether particular exposure or intentional training could improve spatial discrimination in average subjects. This could be helpful in spatial audio display applications. Bo Gehring /-------------------- advertisement -----------------------\ Nortel Networks building the new, high-performance Internet Nortel Networks is building the new, high-performance Wireless Internet. It combines the speed, capacity and reliability of their Optical Internet solutions, with the anytime, anywhere mobility of wireless. Read more about this new technology. http://www.nytimes.com/ads/email/nortel/index1.html \----------------------------------------------------------/ Research Suggests Great Conductors Can Tune In February 1, 2001 By REUTERS LONDON -- For those who have ever wondered how great conductors manage to control entire orchestras and still identify the source of a single sound, German scientists think they may have the answer. New research by Thomas Munte of the University of Magdeburg, reported in the science journal Nature Wednesday, shows that years on the podium help conductors to train their brains so that they can focus on peripheral sounds more closely than other people. ``They are able even at the far ends of the circle of musicians to identify those that are playing out of tune,'' Munte said in a telephone interview. He and his colleagues compared the hearing skills of seven classical conductors, seven pianists and seven non-musical volunteers to see if there were differences in their abilities and brain patterns. They placed all the participants in front of an array of speakers in a semi-circle and then played bursts of sounds, while monitoring the electrical activity in their brains. The conductors were able to identify unusual sounds from a distance better than both the musicians and the non-musicians. The activity in their brains also indicated they could focus better on peripheral sounds. ``Although conductors probably employ other mechanisms such as perceptual grouping to identify single musicians, our findings provide another example of how extensive training can shape cognitive processes and their neural underpinnings,'' Munte added. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/01/science/01reuters-conducting.html?ex=982057423&ei=1&en=4ccc802b36805709 /-----------------------------------------------------------------\ Visit NYTimes.com for complete access to the most authoritative news coverage on the Web, updated throughout the day. Become a member today! It's free! http://www.nytimes.com?eta \-----------------------------------------------------------------/ HOW TO ADVERTISE --------------------------------- For information on advertising in e-mail newsletters or other creative advertising opportunities with The New York Times on the Web, please contact Alyson Racer at alyson(at)nytimes.com or visit our online media kit at http://www.nytimes.com/adinfo For general information about NYTimes.com, write to help(at)nytimes.com. Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company

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