Navigation Links
Tone Deafness Explained, from the Harvard Health Letter

BOSTON, Aug. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Do people cringe when you sing? You've got company. But researchers have found that only 1 in 20 people truly has amusia, the technical term for tone deafness. Tests have shown that some people with bad singing voices hear music just fine. Amusics are a smaller group with a perceptual problem: They can't pick out differences in pitch or follow the simplest tunes, reports the September 2007 issue of the Harvard Health Letter.

Brain scans haven't revealed major anatomical differences in amusics, but more sophisticated tests have uncovered some subtle variations. In a study comparing amusics to people with normal musical ability, researchers used a brain imaging and statistical technique to measure the density of the white matter (which consists of connecting nerve fibers) between the right frontal lobe, where higher thinking occurs, and the right temporal lobes, where basic processing of sound occurs. The white matter of the amusics was thinner, which suggests a weaker connection. Moreover, the worse the tone deafness, the thinner the white matter.

Some experts believe there's a great deal of overlap between how the brain handles music and how it handles speech, which also has elements of pitch and rhythm. Others, though, believe that musical perception and thinking occur separately from other functions, and that our brains are predisposed toward developing centers and networks dedicated exclusively to music.

If you want to test your ability to perceive music, the Harvard Health Letter refers readers to an online test at developed by researchers at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England.

Also in this issue:

-- Benefits of unsaturated fat

-- New types of lenses for cataract surgery

-- Thyroid hormone not a good means for weight loss

-- By the way doctor: Quitting smoking and getting a cough; cellulitis


The Harvard Health Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $28 per year. Subscribe at or by calling 1-877-649-9457 (toll free).

Media: Contact Christine Junge at for a complimentary copy of the newsletter, or to receive our press releases directly.

SOURCE Harvard Health Letter
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Antidepressant Use May Boost Fracture Risk, From Harvard Womens Health Watch
2. Bipolar Disorder in Children Difficult to Diagnose, Reports the Harvard Mental Health Letter
3. Controlling the Spread of Healthcare Associated Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Requires Active Surveillance
4. Largest National U.S. Healthcare Facility MRSA Study Reveals Infection Rates Eight Times Greater Than Previous Estimates
5. Nationwide MRSA Prevalence Study to Demonstrate Full Scope of Superbug Threat Facing U.S. Healthcare Facilities and Patients
6. Arterial Plaque Significantly Reduced in Women Age 50-59 Taking Hormones, Says New Analysis of Womens Health Initiative Data
7. Data Showing that ReGens Colostrinin Supports Healthy Cognitive Function Presented at the 2007 International Congress on Natural Medicine in Australia
8. FDLI 50th Annual Meeting Heralds New ERA in Healthcare Innovations, FDA Regulations
9. New Data On the Probiotic Strain Bifantis Shows Anti-Inflammatory Properties and Increased Health Benefits
10. Actilyse (alteplase) Recommended by National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for Treatment of Acute Ischaemic Stroke
11. Genzyme and Bayer HealthCare Announce Detailed Interim Two-Year Alemtuzumab in Multiple Sclerosis Data Presented at AAN
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/12/2015)... ) ... "Personalized Medicine, Targeted Therapeutics and Companion Diagnostic ... Industry Trends, Technologies, Participants, and Environment" ... ) has announced the addition of ... Companion Diagnostic Market to 2019 - Strategic ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... St. Paul, Minn. , Oct. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... with it, a need to help integrate these devices ... global leader of ergonomic healthcare mounting and mobility solutions, ... Carts, its lightest cart yet, for a wide array ... StyleView S-Tablet Cart SV10 was developed exclusively for Microsoft ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... 12, 2015 ... grow at 7.2% CAGR, microscopy market growth ... focus on nanotechnology, technological advancements, and increasing ... available with ... --> Complete report on microscopy ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... ... secured a new corporate headquarters, located at 485 Madison Avenue, New York, NY ... and increased emphasis on cloud-based technology. , “Care to Care is a dynamic ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... In the first known ... individuals involved in nursing research spent as much as the equivalent of four 40-hour ... a single successful National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant application for funds to conduct ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... CMS’s just-released 2016 Medicare ... partners to assess and act on, indicating which stars measures are causing plans the ... Part D health plans should focus their efforts and how CMS intends to modify ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... T.E.N., a technology ... evening, October 8, at the 2015 ISE® Northeast Executive Forum and Awards ... , Michael Towers, VP, executive information security officer for Allergan, was selected as ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... On Sunday, October 18, the Sierra Regional Spine ... in support of all Washoe County students. This is the first time the institute ... Sparks Marina outlet mall outside Reno, Nevada. , The family and youth-focused event features ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):