Music and the Mind
Violinist and music psychologist Paul Robertson tells Geoff Watts about his lifelong journey to find out why humans have always been a musical species, a quest that has introduced him to neuroscientists and therapists as well as musicians, and taken him from concert hall to brain scanner.
Musicality, he believes, is more than a form of 'brain candy', an accidental side effect of our biological evolution. Perhaps it is central to highly-prized human capacities such as verbal and emotional communication, abstract and symbolic representation, memory and even identity.
Geoff hears, from discussion and performance, how music transforms the life of gifted autistic musicians and can play a key role in mental development from womb to grave. And how music helped Paul Robertson through a coma and severe illness while preparing the first performance of a new work by Sir John Tavener which describes in music the process of a peaceful death.