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Perfect Pitch Perfect Pitch is the ability to identify any musical note without comparison to a reference note and is a talent displayed in a small amount of people What causes it is a question which has attracted a lot of attention lately Scientists are asking them selves if it is a learned ability or are we given this unique talent through our genes MRI scans in test have shown an enlarged portion of the brain present in individuals gifted the ability of perfect pitch Scientists have been extensively surveying and testing musicians and non-musicians alike to place the key to this rare and special gift A research team from Dsseldorf Germany believes they have located the physical basis of perfect pitch The team led b y neurologist Gottfried Schlaug and Helmuth Steinmetz of Dsseldorf Heinrich Heine University report that the planum temporale is far larger on the left side than on the right side in professional musicians--especially in those who have perfect pitch Nowak 616 Previous studies have suggested that the left hemispheric activation sites in the brain are seen during phonological lexical or semantic language task performance while the right hemispheric preponderances are found for melodic and pitch perception Schlaug 699 So Schlaug and his colleagues decided to examine the relative sizes of the left and right planum temporale in musicians brains because previous work has shown that a leftward asymmetry there is associated with mental functions unique to humans such as language Blakeslee A16 Steinmetz believes that the neurological basis of music making is likely to be in the planum temporale since music may be an even higher function than language qtd Nowak 616 Researches carried out comparisons by means of magnetic resonance imaging which allowed the researchers to measure the volume of specific brain structures They compared the images of the brains of thirty professional musicians eleven with perfect pitch nineteen without with those of thirty sex and age
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