Complex Nonlinguistic Auditory Processing

aka Music.

Today, I read a short interview on New York Times where Aniruddh D. Patel answers a few questions about his research into the neuroscience of music. The interview was pretty entertaining—we’ve all seen the YouTube video of a dancing cockatoo. But what got me was the last line on the difficulties of getting funding for research. In particular, getting money to study music was just not possible. So to keep his scientific research sounding like serious science, Dr. Robert Zatorre, one of the founding fathers of this field, used to write “complex nonlinguistic auditory processing” every place the word “music” should have been. To avoid structural research failure, Dr. Zatorre resorted to linguistic manipulation. And it worked!

“Exploring Music’s Hold on the Mind: a Conversation with Aniruddh D. Patel,” written for New York Times by Claudia Dreifus, and published on May 31, 2010.