Last week while I was grabbing a few things at the grocery store and waiting in a long line, I began to scan the magazine rack.

This beauty caught my eye – anything with a brain image of any kind will not slip by me! I decided to treat myself and take it home with me.

A friend teased me that the headline didn’t know who they were talking to. “100 things you never knew about the brain? So, how many were new for you, Brooke?”

Yes, it’s true – I have a bit of an obsession with brain research, and it’s something I’m proud to say that I keep up with pretty well. I am unfortunately known for taking all of the excitement and magic out of recovery stories and interesting brain anecdotes by following up friends’ comments with “I can tell you exactly why that works!” and going into snoozeworthy details about the cingulate gyrus and the posterior hippocampus. Sorry everyone… it’s fun for me, and I forget it’s not always fun for others. :p

Anyway, I scoured the magazine for music related things, and a cool thing I decided to share from the issue is about the “choral effect” – a phenomenon that occurs when people who stutter sing with others. The stutter magically disappears temporarily during the choral effect. As a music therapist, this was not a new thing for me, but it’s still something I get excited about every time I see it in action. And, I was very excited to see the phenomenon referenced in this magazine!

What’s possibly even more exciting is that when the music is rhythmic, dynamic, and personal to someone singing it, their stutter will go away even if they are singing by themselves! I’m sure you’ve heard these heartfelt stories in American Idol auditions, but I also get the pleasure of seeing it in my own clinical practice. The best part is that it doesn’t just have to be temporary – with the right application and plan for practice, this can have long lasting effects, and the person’s stutter can significantly decrease overall.

More coming soon from this very cool issue of National Geographic! There’s juicy stuff about mirror neurons, one of my favorite phenomenons of the brain, and even some cool little tidbits about Mozart.

Happy Monday, and keep making music!

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