MUSIC AND THE BRAIN | 2-5 p.m. Saturday, May 11 | UCF College of Medicine, Lewis Auditorium | www.centralfloridasfn.org/
When I was in middle school, my older sister did that age-old science experiment where she played different genres of music for the same species of plant and monitored whether or not the songs helped or hindered the vegetation's growing process. Our shared bedroom was where the "classical" music was played. (I use quotes because she was in fact just playing the soundtrack to Pocahontas, which explains why I can belt out Vanessa Williams in my sleep.) This meant for two weeks, I slept each night with the same music lightly playing and infiltrating my consciousness.
I'm convinced this experiment had more impact on me than the plants, but this weekend, we could all learn a little something about how music impacts our brains by attending "Music and the Brain," a lecture and performance featuring Juilliard?trained violinist and UCF Professor Ayako Yonetani and UCF neuroscience professor Dr. Kiminobu Sugaya. In addition to a sincere intention to host an entertaining event, the UCF College of Medicine is hoping these events will demonstrate to the public how neuroscience affects us each day, which with any luck will inspire more funding for their research. This is the first of a series of events, kicking off from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, May 11 at the Lake Nona Medical Center. A beautiful daytime concert, plus an immediate investigation on how what you're experiencing aesthetically is affecting you mechanically? Mind blown - that sounds awesome.
FYI, I still play music to fall asleep, so who knows what further damage - or dare I hope, benefit - I've imposed on my brain over the years. (My favorite music to sleep through usually is Explosions in the Sky or Yo La Tengo's "They Shoot, We Score.") It's nice thinking there's a possibility someone does actually know, and he's a community-oriented neuroscience guy living locally and working to present his knowledge in an accessible way for those of us who don't speak genius but do understand that music speaks to us. It costs $10 for students and $20 for the general public. For more information, go here.