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The Power of Music from the Beatles to the Brain

May 18, 2014
55 minutes
Mark Jude Tramo


Mark Jude Tramo is a lecturer at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, a neurologist affiliated with Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Los Robles Regional Medical Center, and a songwriter who now uses his lifelong passion for music to try and unlock the mysteries of the human brain. He has been Director of The Institute for Music & Brain Science, a founding member of its Executive Board, Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, and Attending Neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. An awardee of the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, McDonnell-Pew Program in Cognitive Neuroscience, National Organization for Hearing Research, and other foundations, Dr. Tramo has conducted original research on the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of music perception and cognition for over 20 years. He did his doctoral dissertation, Neural Representations of Acoustic Information in Relation to Music & Voice Perception, at Harvard with David Hubel and Marge Livingstone, trained in Neurology and Cognitive Neuroscience at Cornell with Fred Plum and Michael Gazzaniga, and studied musical theater with Lehman Engel and John Hood at the Yale Schools of Drama and Music. His work has been published in Science, Journal of Neurophysiology, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuropsychologia, Contemporary Music Review, and other professional journals. Dr. Tramo serves on the Steering Committee of the Harvard University Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative and holds research appointments at the M.I.T. Research Laboratory of Electronics and Eaton-Peabody Laboratory of Auditory Physiology at Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary. Winner of the Harvard Provost's Award for Educational Innovation, Dr. Tramo founded the world's first Music and the Brain course at Harvard College in 1997 and co-founded the Auditory Neurobiology course at Harvard College and Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Science. A Diplomate in Neurology of the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, Dr. Tramo's work in patient care has been recognized by Best Doctors in America and America's Top Physicians. A published songwriter member of ASCAP, Mark is currently touring science museums throughout the U.S. as part of the Wild Music! exhibit.