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Research Topic

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The relationship between music and language

Topic Editors:

Lutz Jäncke, University of Zurich, Switzerland

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Traditionally, music and language have been treated as different psychological faculties. This duality is reflected in older theories about the lateralization of speech and music in that speech functions were thought to be localized on the left and music functions on the right hemisphere. But with the advent of modern brain imaging techniques and the improvement of neurophysiological measures to investigate brain functions an entirely new view on the neural and psychological underpinnings of music and speech has evolved. The main point of convergence in the findings of these new studies is that music and speech functions have many aspects in common and that several neural modules are similarly involved in speech and music. There is also emerging evidence that speech functions can benefit from music functions and vice versa. This new research field has accumulated a lot of new information and it is therefore timely to bring together the work of those researchers who have been most visible, productive, and inspiring in this field and to ask them to present their new work or provide a summary of their laboratory´s work.

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