Tina Jordan
October 19, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Musicophilia

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Oliver Sacks
publisher
Knopf
genre
Nonfiction, Self-Help and Psychology, Science and Technology

We gave it a B+

Oliver Sacks’ curiosity has led him to some odd places, as evidenced in The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Now the neurologist explores the brain and music in Musicophilia. He describes a surgeon who’s struck by lightning, then becomes literally possessed by music; people — including his mother — who suffer musical hallucinations; Parkinson’s patients frozen in their disease who come to life when a song is played; Alzheimer’s patients who retain their ability to play the piano. Why do the brain’s neural abilities involving music remain vibrant long after others have diminished? Sacks isn’t sure, but his case studies fascinate nonetheless. B+

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