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Somehow, the molecules and circuits of the brain give rise to the varied and complex behaviors that make us human. Cognitive neuroscience studies these emergent phenomena, and we will have two talks that span the gamut of the field: group music performance and the interaction between sexual arousal and drugs. Come and join us for a beer and for what is sure to be an interesting discussion!
Tapping in to flexibility of action coordination through music
Rebecca Scheurich (PhD student - Department of Psychology / Music at McGill University)
Many social behaviours from group conversation to group music performance require that people be able to flexibly change their actions to match the actions of others. There is evidence to suggest that successfully coordinating with others increases closeness and affiliation among people, but what allows individuals to flexibly change their behaviour in this way? We use music to approach this question, examining how musical expertise, a skill requiring precise coordination between individuals, may enhance the flexibility with which individuals can move at multiple rates.
Sex and drugs... why one person's aphrodisiac is another's disaster
Dr. Jim Pfaus (Professor at Concordia University - Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology, Department of Psychology)
This talk will explore how drugs can produce inhibitory and disinhibitory effects on sexual arousal, desire, and pleasure, with a particular emphasis on alcohol and cocaine, two drugs that have been examined empirically in many laboratories in both humans and lab animals like the rat.