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Science
FRONTIERS
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Wednesday 21:00-21:30
Frontiers explores new ideas in science, meeting the researchers who see the world through fresh eyes and challenge existing theories - as well as hearing from their critics. Many such developments create new ethical and moral questions and Frontiers is not afraid to consider these.
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Listen to 13 December
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Wednesday 13 December 2006
conductor in full flow, conducting his orchestra

Amusia

Take a musical listening test

When we listen to music, do we all hear the same thing?

The answer, according to some neuroscientists and psychologists, is no.

Amusia is a little-known phenomenon that changes people’s perception of music and affects up to one in 20 people.

“It’s been compared to colourblindess,” says Lauren Stewart, a psychologist from Goldsmith’s College. “Just as people with colourblindness might see reds, pinks and oranges as the same, amusic people have a very coarse representation of the notes of the musical scale.”

This week Peter Evans meets people with amusia and finds out what’s happening in their brains, and asks whether the cause is nature or nurture.

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