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Teen Science Cafe: Building a Symphony: Music and the Brain

  • Friday, December 04, 2015
  • 6:00pm - 7:00pm

At its most basic level, music is simply sound produced by vibrations. But what happens when sound waves hit our ears?  Duke University Professor Tobias Overath investigates how sound is interpreted in the human brain. When we engage in a conversation or listen to a symphony, how does our brain process and assemble the acoustic building blocks that let us understand what we hear? Join us to learn more, test your ability to match sounds with their images, and ask your questions. Open to all teens, no RSVP needed. Free food vouchers to the first 50 teens to arrive.

About our speaker

Tobias Overath investigates how the brain processes sound, from very basic sound attributes such as pitch or timbre to more complex signals such as speech, using a combination of behavioral, electrophysiological (M/EEG) and hemodynamic (fMRI) methods. He studied Musicology and Psychology at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, before moving across the Channel to earn a MSc in Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, England. He earned his PhD at University College London investigating the representation of statistical sound properties in the human auditory cortex. Following post-doctoral work at New York University, University College London, and the University of Bonn, Germany, he is now an Assistant Research Professor at the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences at Duke University.

Hungry for a science snack? Check out more about the Teen Science Cafes and view past topics here.



December 4, 2015
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Daily Planet Cafe

Nature Research Center
121 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601 United States


Kathryn Rende