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About Daniel J. Levitin
Daniel J. Levitin is Founding Dean of Arts & Humanities at the Minerva Schools at Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) in California. He is also the James McGill Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Music at McGill University, Montreal. "This Is Your Brain on Music" , "The World in Six Songs", "The Organized Mind" and "A Field Guide to Lies" (republished in paperback as "Weaponized Lies") were all #1 best-sellers. His work has been translated into 22 languages. Before becoming a neuroscientist, he worked as a session musician, sound engineer, and record producer, contributing to records by Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, and Blue Oyster Cult. He has published extensively in scientific journals as well as music magazines such as Grammy and Billboard. Recent musical performances include playing guitar and saxophone with Sting, Bobby McFerrin, Rosanne Cash, David Byrne, Cris Williamson, Victor Wooten, and Rodney Crowell.
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Taking on prominent thinkers who argue that music is nothing more than an evolutionary accident, Levitin poses that music is fundamental to our species, perhaps even more so than language. Drawing on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen, he reveals:
• How composers produce some of the most pleasurable effects of listening to music by exploiting the way our brains make sense of the world
• Why we are so emotionally attached to the music we listened to as teenagers, whether it was Fleetwood Mac, U2, or Dr. Dre
• That practice, rather than talent, is the driving force behind musical expertise
• How those insidious little jingles (called earworms) get stuck in our head
A Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist, This Is Your Brain on Music will attract readers of Oliver Sacks and David Byrne, as it is an unprecedented, eye-opening investigation into an obsession at the heart of human nature.
The information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that the average American reports frequently losing car keys or reading glasses, missing appointments, and feeling worn out by the effort required just to keep up.
But somehow some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow. In The Organized Mind, Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time.
With lively, entertaining chapters on everything from the kitchen junk drawer to health care to executive office workflow, Levitin reveals how new research into the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory can be applied to the challenges of our daily lives. This Is Your Brain on Music showed how to better play and appreciate music through an understanding of how the brain works. The Organized Mind shows how to navigate the churning flood of information in the twenty-first century with the same neuroscientific perspective.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Organized Mind and This Is Your Brain on Music, a primer to the critical thinking that is more necessary now than ever
We are bombarded with more information each day than our brains can process—especially in election season. It's raining bad data, half-truths, and even outright lies. New York Times bestselling author Daniel J. Levitin shows how to recognize misleading announcements, statistics, graphs, and written reports, revealing the ways lying weasels can use them.
It's becoming harder to separate the wheat from the digital chaff. How do we distinguish misinformation, pseudo-facts, and distortions from reliable information? Levitin groups his field guide into two categories—statistical information and faulty arguments—ultimately showing how science is the bedrock of critical thinking. Infoliteracy means understanding that there are hierarchies of source quality and bias that variously distort our information feeds via every media channel, including social media. We may expect newspapers, bloggers, the government, and Wikipedia to be factually and logically correct, but they so often aren't. We need to think critically about the words and numbers we encounter if we want to be successful at work, at play, and in making the most of our lives. This means checking the plausibility and reasoning—not passively accepting information, repeating it, and making decisions based on it. Readers learn to avoid the extremes of passive gullibility and cynical rejection. Levitin's charming, entertaining, accessible guide can help anyone wake up to a whole lot of things that aren't so. And catch some weasels in their tracks!
"Debunks the idea that aging inevitably brings infirmity and unhappiness and instead offers a trove of practical, evidence-based guidance for living longer and better."
—Daniel H. Pink, author of When and Drive
SUCCESSFUL AGING delivers powerful insights:
• Debunking the myth that memory always declines with age
• Confirming that "health span"—not "life span"—is what matters
• Proving that sixty-plus years is a unique and newly recognized developmental stage
• Recommending that people look forward to joy, as reminiscing doesn't promote health
Levitin looks at the science behind what we all can learn from those who age joyously, as well as how to adapt our culture to take full advantage of older people's wisdom and experience. Throughout his exploration of what aging really means, using research from developmental neuroscience and the psychology of individual differences, Levitin reveals resilience strategies and practical, cognitive enhancing tricks everyone should do as they age.
Successful Aging inspires a powerful new approach to how readers think about our final decades, and it will revolutionize the way we plan for old age as individuals, family members, and citizens within a society where the average life expectancy continues to rise.
Higher education is in crisis. It is too expensive, ineffective, and impractical for many of the world's students. But how would you reinvent it for the twenty-first century—how would you build it from the ground up? Many have speculated about changing higher education, but Minerva has actually created a new kind of university program. Its founders raised the funding, assembled the team, devised the curriculum and pedagogy, recruited the students, hired the faculty, and implemented a bold vision of a new and improved higher education. This book explains that vision and how it is being realized.
The Minerva curriculum focuses on “practical knowledge” (knowledge students can use to adapt to a changing world); its pedagogy is based on scientific research on learning; it uses a novel technology platform to deliver small seminars in real time; and it offers a hybrid residential model where students live together, rotating through seven cities around the world. Minerva equips students with the cognitive tools they need to succeed in the world after graduation, building the core competencies of critical thinking, creative thinking, effective communication, and effective interaction. The book offers readers both the story of this grand and sweeping idea and a blueprint for transforming higher education.
Daniel J. Levitin's astounding debut bestseller, This Is Your Brain on Music, enthralled and delighted readers as it transformed our understanding of how music gets in our heads and stays there. Now in his second New York Times bestseller, his genius for combining science and art reveals how music shaped humanity across cultures and throughout history.
Here he identifies six fundamental song functions or types—friendship, joy, comfort, religion, knowledge, and love—then shows how each in its own way has enabled the social bonding necessary for human culture and society to evolve. He shows, in effect, how these “six songs” work in our brains to preserve the emotional history of our lives and species.
Dr. Levitin combines cutting-edge scientific research from his music cognition lab at McGill University and work in an array of related fields; his own sometimes hilarious experiences in the music business; and illuminating interviews with musicians such as Sting and David Byrne, as well as conductors, anthropologists, and evolutionary biologists. The World in Six Songs is, ultimately, a revolution in our understanding of how human nature evolved—right up to the iPod.
This authoritative, landmark volume offers a comprehensive state-of-the-art overview of the latest theory and research in music perception and cognition. Eminent scholars from a range of disciplines, employing a variety of methodologies, describe important findings from core areas of the field, including music cognition, the neuroscience of music, musical performance, and music therapy. The book can be used as a textbook for courses in music cognition, auditory perception, science of music, psychology of music, philosophy of music, and music therapy, and as a reference for researchers, teachers, and musicians.
The book's sections cover music perception; music cognition; music, neurobiology, and evolution; musical training, ability, and performance; and musical experience in everyday life. Chapters treat such topics as pitch, rhythm, and timbre; musical expectancy, musicality, musical disorders, and absolute pitch; brain processes involved in music perception, cross-species studies of music cognition, and music across cultures; improvisation, the assessment of musical ability, and singing; and music and emotions, musical preferences, and music therapy.
Fleur Bouwer, Peter Cariani, Laura K. Cirelli, Annabel J. Cohen, Lola L. Cuddy, Shannon de L'Etoile, Jessica A. Grahn, David M. Greenberg, Bruno Gingras, Henkjan Honing, Lorna S. Jakobson, Ji Chul Kim, Stefan Koelsch, Edward W. Large, Miriam Lense, Daniel Levitin, Charles J. Limb, Psyche Loui, Stephen McAdams, Lucy M. McGarry, Malinda J. McPherson, Andrew J. Oxenham, Caroline Palmer, Aniruddh Patel, Eve-Marie Quintin, Peter Jason Rentfrow, Edward Roth, Frank A. Russo, Rebecca Scheurich, Kai Siedenburg, Avital Sternin, Yanan Sun, William F. Thompson, Renee Timmers, Mark Jude Tramo, Sandra E. Trehub, Michael W. Weiss, Marcel Zentner
La musique comme maître à penser
Dans ce livre passionnant, Levitin tente de comprendre le pouvoir et les répercussions de la musique sur l'activité cérébrale : comment le cerveau perçoit-il la musique ? Qu'est-ce que la musique, en retour, peut nous apprendre du cerveau ? Comme déclencheur d'émotions – lesquelles sont des marqueurs neuronaux–, la musique nous éclaire, par exemple, sur le fonctionnement de la mémoire.
Cet essai pédagogique et plein d'humour aborde des thèmes aussi divers que la classification de la musique par genres, l'oreille absolue ou la mémoire instinctive que l'on peut avoir d'un morceau. De Bach à Ella Fitzgerald, des Beatles, à U2, Levitin révèle le rôle de la musique dans l'évolution de l'humanité.
Fascinante plongée dans les mystères de notre matière grise, L'Esprit organisé décortique le fonctionnement structurel de l'intellect et livre les secrets pour utiliser de façon optimale cet incroyable organe qu'est le cerveau. Dans une ère où nous sommes noyés sous les informations, Daniel Levitin nous offre les clefs pour recouvrer le sens de l'ordre et apprendre à réorganiser notre esprit.
" Il y a environ cinq mille ans, quand les premiers humains ont imaginé une façon de consigner les faits par écrit, ils augmentèrent ainsi leurs capacités intellectuelles. Ils étendirent les limites naturelles de la mémoire humaine en conservant une partie de leurs souvenirs sur des tablettes d'argile, des murs de cavernes et, plus tard, des papyrus et du parchemin. Nous avons ensuite développé d'autres systèmes – calendriers, classeurs, ordinateurs et Smartphones – pour nous aider à organiser et à ranger les informations que nous avions préalablement écrites. "