Arts, Humanities, and Complex Networks

Network Science: A New Method For Investigating The Complexity Of Musical Experiences In The Brain

by Donald A. Hodges, Jonathan H. Burdette, Matthew R. Steen, Paul J. Laurienti, Robin W. Wilkins

Abstract

Network science is a rapidly emerging analysis method for investigating complex systems, such as the brain, in terms of their components and the interactions among them. Within the brain, music affects an intricate set of complex neural processing systems. These include structural components as well as functional elements such as memory, motor planning and execution, cognition and mood fluctuation. Because music affects such diverse brain systems, it is an ideal candidate for applying network science methods. Using as naturalistic an approach as possible, the authors investigated whether listening to different genres of music affected brain connectivity. Here the authors show that varying levels of musical complexity affect brain connectivity. These results suggest that network science offers a promising new method to study the dynamic impact of music on the brain.

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