In the News

Study finds sensitivity to musical rhythm supports social development in infants

Engaging infants with a song provides a readymade means for supporting social development and interaction, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Emory University School of Medicine enrolled 112 infants who were either 2 months or 6 months old.

We Got the Beat

There might be something to the saying, “you’ve got the music in you.” A new genetic study in the journal Nature Human Behavior led by researchers at Vanderbilt University and 23andMe found more than 60 regions of the genome associated with beat synchronization, the ability to move in time with the beat of music.

Mental Notes: Music Cognition Lab is dedicated to the scientific study of how music affects the brain and behavior

The past decade in particular has been marked by a dramatic increase in music cognition inquiry, as about 100 laboratory groups around the world, including at Vanderbilt, are working across disciplines to understand music’s relationship to the brain, behavior and health, and to develop effective intervention strategies.

Using music to understand how children develop speech skills

Music is everywhere in modern life, even during quarantine times of Covid-19. Yet individuals vary a lot in their music abilities. In my lab we are particularly focused on studying people’s rhythm skills. Some folks pick up rhythms easily – they can tap in time to the beat, dance, and learn new songs almost effortlessly. Other people may struggle more with rhythm – they may not really hear the beat in music. Across the population, it turns out that there is a huge range of rhythm abilities! Have you ever wondered why this could be?