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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000791.txt from 2002/06

From: w7wright@-----.net (William Wright)
Subj: Re: [kl] Fwd: Brains
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2002 00:33:53 -0400

<><><> I wrote:
...idiotic for more than one reason, even if the measurements are
accurate.

<><> Bill=A0Hausmann wrote:
My presumption would be that, if true, it is because musicians, through
use, DEVELOP that portion of the brain more, not that the size would
incline us toward music. I don't find any problem with that logic.

Cart before the horse, Bill --- among *many* other faults.

My local newspaper carried an article about this research several months
ago. Because I'm interested in neurology and music, I did read it
completely. The article said just what you've said, but **with the
added caveat** that it isn't proven whether (1) being born with more
gray matter in the auditory cortex causes development of musical skill,
or whether (2) playing music stimulates growth of this gray matter.

In the brief quote that was posted a few messages ago, this important
statement was omitted. It's the first thing that they teach in
statistics or any sort of laboratory science. If two events are
linked, you cannot know from the linkage alone which was the cause and
which was the effect. You cannot even know if the two were linked by
cause and effect!

But there are any other faults of logic here. For example, on the
basis of logic alone, you could have said: "A performing musician's
brain is wired differently, which is why a fine musician thinks
differently than we in the audience do. In fact, because of
differences in mental processing, musicians would be *less* sensitive
listeners compared to we folks in the audience. So they *need* extra
gray matter in order to understand what we want. And have you ever
paid attention to how differently a performer responds to music? Even
with the aid of extra gray matter, they still mess up, and then they try
to tell _me_ that _I'm_ the one who lacks full sensibility!

I don't believe the preceding paragraph to be true, of course. But
there's no justification (in the original quote) for jumping to the
conclusion that sensitivity is synonymous with additional gray matter in
the acoustical cortex.

And another whopper: The quote stated that musicians have better brains
in general, whereas the research talked only about auditory processing.
Probably an apologist could say: "Oh, that's obvious, any intelligent
reader will udnerstand what we really meant, we were limited in space
and we had to get rid of unnecessary verbiage." But when you re-read
the quote, that isn't what they actually printed.

....I could go on, but this is laundry night.......

Cheers,
Bill

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