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News Release

May 14, 2008


John Sanford, News Service: (650) 736-2151,

'Exploring emotion' theme of annual Symposium on Music and the Brain

The third annual International Symposium on Music and the Brain at Stanford is scheduled for May 16-17.

The theme of this year's conference is "exploring emotion." A schedule and participant biographies are available at All events will be on campus at the Campbell Recital Hall or the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics.

Neuroscientists and psychologists will discuss findings on the relationship between emotion and music, and present a wide range of research at the symposium. Some of the topics to be explored include how music triggers autobiographical memories, the reason tone-deaf individuals sense emotion in music and the effect of music on the repression of trauma.

Accompanying these presentations are several performances, including music from pianist Stephen Prutsman, santur player Bahram Osqeezadeh and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Rounding out the humanities side of the conference will be a lecture by Blakey Vermeule, Stanford associate professor of English, whose talk is titled "Can an Artist Meddle with Evil and Remain Emotionally Unscathed?"

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is now closed. Walk-ins will be welcome as space permits. The symposium is supported in part by funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Drs. Ben and A. Jess Shenson Fund.

The symposium is presented by the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts' Center for Arts, Science and Technology, with sponsorship from the Department of Music.

Arielle Lasky is a science-writing intern at the Stanford News Service.


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