PODCAST: If you can sing, can you talk?

These two familiar activities are more independent than you might think

July 6, 2018
What makes it possible to be lead vocalist in a band? Scientists are closing in on the areas of the brain that let us carry a tune. (Image Credit: Pxhere | CC0)

Whether it takes place onstage, at karaoke or in the shower, singing is a special activity unique from speech. And since it uses a lot of the same machinery (mouth, tongue, voice box, etc.), at least some of that difference must lie in the brain. This podcast looks at the mental phenomenon of song from both sides. Bernadine Gagnon, a Columbia speech therapist, explains how singing can sometimes help stroke victims re-learn to speak, and Kalman Katlowitz, a New York University neuroscientist, talks about his lab’s attempt to locate part of the brain’s singing circuit.


About the Author

Charlie Wood

Charlie is especially into physical sciences both on and off the planet. His work has appeared in Popular Science, Quanta Magazine, and The Christian Science Monitor. In previous lives, he taught physics and English in Mozambique and Japan, and he has a bachelor’s in physics from Brown University.


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