Sunday, April 26, 2009

Music, Healing and the Brain


Patt Morrison

Called the "poet laureate of medicine" by The New York Times, Dr. Oliver Sacks has transformed our understanding of the human mind through his writings about the far boundaries of neurological experience. In his latest book, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, he tells the stories of neurologically damaged people who have lost their memory, and sometimes their ability to speak, but are still able to remember and produce music. Sacks tells the story of the surgeon struck by lightning and suddenly obsessed with classical music, and the man whose memory scans only seven seconds—except when playing music. He shows us how our worlds are poised precariously on a little biochemistry, and that music may be our best medicine.

Dr. Oliver Sacks, professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University; author of Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, as well as The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars

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