Charles Limb is the Francis A. Sooy, MD Professor and Chief of Otology/Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, and he's a Faculty Member at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He combines his two passions to study the way the brain creates and perceives music. He's a hearing specialist and surgeon at Johns Hopkins who performs cochlear implantations on patients who have lost their hearing. And he plays sax, piano and bass.
In search of a better understanding of how the mind perceives complex auditory stimuli such as music, he's been working with Allen Braun to look at the brains of improvising musicians and study what parts of the brain are involved in the kind of deep creativity that happens when a musician is really in the groove.
Read our Q&A about hip-hop studies with Charles Limb on the TED Blog >>
Plus our quick catchup Q&A at TEDMED 2011 -- including his top 5 songs of all time >>
Read the 2014 paper "Neural Substrates of Interactive Musical Improvisation: An fMRI Study of ‘Trading Fours’ in Jazz" >>