Musicians hear songs when they read music, non-musicians seek visual patterns

Roheeni Saxena, CC BY-NC-SA, Sept 23, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes
files/images/musicnotes.1-640x340.jpg

You learn to perceive. Or, to put it another way, to learn is to learn how to perceive. There's no better illustration of this than the example cited in this article. "Musicians use a part of the brain that is skilled at noticing deviations from an auditory pattern, while non-musicians rely on visual clues. In other words, non-musicians rely on visual processing, while musicians rely on the corresponding auditory information portrayed by the notes on the page." They actually 'hear' what they're looking at (similarly, when I read, I 'hear' the words as well; I don't decode them, I just listen. I imagine skilled mathematicians have similar mathematical perceptions, as compared to people who simply memorize formulae).

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