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For Some People There is No Such Thing as Music

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The research, published in Neuron, was carried out with a female volunteer named Monica, who describes herself as musically disabled.

For most people, making a list of favorite songs, playing an instrument or singing is a great way to relax and have fun. But such an experience is not at all for some people; There are rare neurological cases in which these people have never had experiences of perceiving music, remembering, singing, or dancing.

Studies on the processing of music in the brain date back to the 1825s. In 1888-1890, German neurologist August Knoblauch produced a cognitive model for music processing and called it amusia. This music processing model was the oldest ever produced. The first documented case of congenital amusia was published relatively recently, although the idea that some people were born with musical shortcomings is not a new idea. The research published in Neuron in 2002, in response to an advertisement in the newspaper; It was realized with a female volunteer named Monica, who defines herself as musically disabled.

As a matter of fact, Monica never had the opportunity to develop musical competence throughout her life. She was in a church choir when she was a child and in a school band when she was in high school. However, the only reason he took part in all these activities was social pressure. Because all kinds of music sounded like noise to him and made him feel stressed.

When Monica was in her early 40s, a group of researchers from the University of Montreal in Canada contacted a group of researchers from the University of Montreal, who examined Monica's case and diagnosed her with congenital amusia, an ongoing music processing disorder from birth. Researchers reported that Monica's mother and brother also had the same case, suggesting that it was possible for her condition to have a genetic origin. However, amusia could also occur as a result of a brain injury.

The study examined Monica's musical characteristics that typically contribute to her perception and memory of music. First of all, in the study evaluating whether Monica has a hearing loss, it was determined that the lack of perception and processing of music cannot be explained by potential hearing loss, as she can normally perceive and recognize sounds, verbal expressions and common environmental sounds. The fact that he took music lessons during his childhood showed that this disorder could not be explained by not being exposed to music. On the other hand, the absence of any impairment in cognitive and memory skills revealed that the case could not be explained by general cognitive deficiency.

The research report states that the music disorder appears as an isolated deficiency in a completely normal cognitive and emotional system. According to the researchers, Monica's lack has something to do with pitch separation on a more specific level, the voice. If Monica cannot perceive small differences in pitch of sound, she may perceive music as monotonous as well. This is in most cultures; It can prevent him from perceiving the basic building blocks of music such as tone and halftone.

Although the general characteristics of Amusia (Amuziya) have been described in great detail by scientists, studies on neural mechanisms are still ongoing. A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2015 identified some possible neural mechanisms that could be involved in amuzia.

Studies done in the past; He argued that people with amusia might actually have some tonal knowledge, but those without amusia might not have access to that information like humans do. In the study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the brain responses of 9 people with amusias and 11 people without the case during certain tasks were evaluated. In the first task, participants were asked to capture a click sound embedded in a melody. In the second task, participants were asked to identify incompatible notes in a melody.

Both people with private and non-privateers in the "click sound" task were able to detect "clicks" that stimulate the brain response. However, in the second task, people without amusias were able to deliberately distinguish between the mismatched and key notes, but those with amusa did not.

The results obtained show that people with private individuals have tonal knowledge; however, it shows that it is disconnected from conscious experience. So how is all this expressed in terms of what goes on in the brain? A study published in the Cerebral Cortex in 2011 suggests that connectivity problems between different parts of the brain can be blamed for this.

Apparently, there may be a lack of amusias in the connection between the primary auditory cortex, which is the first brain region to receive any auditory information, and an area of the frontal cortex that is generally thought to be associated with consciousness and awareness.

In the long run, researchers continue to work on understanding the brain mechanisms of people with private individuals well enough to improve their perception of pitch and create programs or systems to give them access to music.

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