Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: The Musical Brain: Reading and Understanding Experimental Research (MUSI10110)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe mystery of music and musical behaviour has fascinated thinkers and philosophers for centuries. In recent decades, psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists have had access to newly developed brain imaging techniques, allowing them to design experiments to investigate the neural basis of features of music such as rhythm processing, melody processing and emotional responses to familiar material. Research and understanding in these and other areas are expanding each year, along with new software and analysis techniques.

This course is designed for music students to learn how to read, understand, report on and evaluate contemporary experimental research in the neuroscience of music, as it arises.
Course description Part 1
The course begins with basic introductions to brain structure, function and imaging techniques, with a focus on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Diffusion Tension Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DT-MRI). This is followed by basic introductions to experimental design and statistical analysis.

Part 2
We will then focus on an individual topic each week, selected from areas which may include the following: pitch, melody, rhythm, emotion, learning, instrumental training, singing, child development, dance, language and neurodiversity. Topics will be selected in response to upcoming developments and new papers in the field, as well as according to lecturer and student interest. International guest speakers may also be invited.

Sessions will be 2 hours weekly and will involve a) key readings prior to each session b) lectures, c) short presentations on the readings from students and d) group discussions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 173 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative: Summary of a scientific paper (300 words)(+/- 10%) (Approx. Week 4)

Submission 1: Summary and evaluation of a scientific paper (1000 words) (+/- 10%) (Approx. Week 8) (LO2, LO3, LO4)
Submission 2: Comparison of two scientific papers, with reference to their contribution the field (2,500 words) (+/- 10%) (Exam Period)( LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4)

Submission 1: 30%
Submission 2: 70%
Feedback Group verbal feedback will be given weekly in seminars in response to student presentations, discussions and assessments.

Individual written feedback on formative and summative assessments will be given in compliance with university guidelines.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Source contemporary music neuroscience research using relevant scientific search engines
  2. Read and understand individual studies in the neuroscience of music
  3. Communicate the questions, methods, findings and interpretations of individual studies in the neuroscience of music
  4. Evaluate research questions, methods, findings and interpretations and situate them within the context of the discipline
Reading List
Gleitman, H., Gross, J., & Reisber, D. (2011). Psychology. Canada: Norton & Company, Inc.

Miranda E. & Overy K (Eds) (2009). Exploring Music Through Neuroscience. Contemporary Music Review, volume 28.

Loui, P., Patel, A. Wong, L. M. Gaab, N. Hanser, S. B. and Schlaug G. (2018). The Neurosciences and Music VI: Music, Sound, and Health, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, volume 1423.

Overy K., Peretz., I, Zatorre, R., Lopez, L & Majno, M. (Eds) (2012). The Neurosciences and Music IV: Learning and Memory. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, volume 1252.

Storr, A. (1992). Music and the Mind. London: Harper Collins.

Thaut, M. & Hodges, D. (2019). The Oxford Handbook of Music and the Brain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and Understanding
This course will give students a knowledge and understanding of the ways in which the discipline has developed, including a range of established techniques of enquiry and research methodologies.

Practice: Applied knowledge, Skills and Understanding
Students will leave this course with an understanding of how to read, report on and evaluate contemporary research in the neuroscience of music.

General Cognitive Skills
This course will encourage students to critically review and consolidate knowledge, methods and thinking within the field of music neuroscience.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills
This course will develop student skills in communicating scientific research findings via informal presentations, group discussion and academic writing.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others
This course will help students to develop autonomy and initiative in locating, reading and understanding scientific research papers
Keywordspsychology of music,neuroscience of music,experimental research
Course organiserDr Katie Overy
Tel: (0131 6)50 8248
Course secretaryDr Ellen Jeffrey
Tel: (0131 6)50 2430
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information