You'd think people would realize they're bad at multitasking and would quit. But a cognitive illusion sets in, fueled in part by a dopamine-adrenaline feedback loop, in which multitaskers think they are doing great.

— Daniel Levitin

The most breathtaking Daniel Levitin quotes you will be delighted to read

Those dabs of paint and lines become art when form and flow are created out of lower-level perceptual elements. When they combine harmoniously they give rise to perspective, foreground and background, and ultimately to emotion and other aesthetic attributes.

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Whenever humans come together for any reason, music is there: weddings, funerals, graduation from college, men marching off to war, stadium sporting events, a night on the town, prayer, a romantic dinner, mothers rocking their infants to sleep ... music is a part of the fabric of everyday life.

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We really are living in an age of information overload.

Google estimates that there are 300 exabytes (300 followed by 18 zeros) of human-made information in the world today. Only four years ago there were just 30 exabytes. We've created more information in the past few years than in all of human history before us.

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Our bodies like rhythm and our brains like melody and harmony.

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Music may be the activity that prepared our pre-human ancestors for speech communication and for the very cognitive, representational flexibility necessary to become humans.

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A bowl of pudding only has taste when I put it in my mouth - when it is in contact with my tongue. It doesn't have taste or flavor sitting in my fridge, only the potential.

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Out of 30,000 edible plants thought to exist on earth, just eleven account for 93% of all that humans eat: oats, corn, rice, wheat, potatoes, yucca (also called tapioca or cassava), sorghum, millet, beans, barley, and rye.

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The constant nagging in your mind of undone things pulls you out of the present--tethers you to a mind-set of the future so that you're never fully in the moment and enjoying what's now.

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Although I don't know Paul McCartney, a mutual friend told me that Paul was reading my book, This Is Your Brain on Music, and stopped after chapter two. McCartney said he was concerned that if he learned more about how he does what he does (as far as composing music), he may not be able to do it anymore!

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The most fundamental principle of the organized mind, the one most critical to keeping us from forgetting or losing things, is to shift the burden of organizing from our brains to the external world.

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The first forms of writing emerged not for art, literature, or love, not for spiritual or liturgical purposes, but for business--all literature could be said to originate from sales receipts (sorry).

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Ten thousand hours is equivalent to roughly three hours a day, or 20 hours a week, of practice over 10 years... No one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery.

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About Daniel Levitin

Quotes 41 sayings
Profession Neuroscientist
Birthday December 27, 1957

No other species lives with regret over past events, or makes deliberate plans for future ones.

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Americans spend more money on music than on sex or prescription drugs

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Another possibility is that evolution selected creativity in general as a marker of sexual fitness.

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Similarly, dance is not just a raging sea of unrelated bodily movements;

the relationship of those movements to one another is what creates integrity and integrality, a coherence and cohesion that the higher levels of our brain process.

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No one alive today has a single ancestor in his or her past who died in infancy.

We are the champions, my friend!

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The processing capacity of the conscious mind has been estimated at 120 bits per second.

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Librarians are more important than ever before .

.. are uniquely qualified to help all of us separate the digital wheat from the chaff, to help us understand the reliability of the data we encounter.

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I think, though, that we need to be armed with the critical thinking skills that lawyers and scientists and journalists such as yourself have. We all need to have those as we make our way through the day. And they're not that hard to acquire.

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I like a world where each of us has the tools to be able to make able to make our own decisions.

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We need to take a step back, and realize that not everything we encounter is true. You don't want to be gullibly accepting everything as true, but you don't want to be cynically rejecting everything as false. You want to take your time to evaluate the information.

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What makes a set of lines and colors into art is the relationship between this line and that one; the way one color or form echoes another in a different part of the canvas.

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We're making more and more decisions every day. I think a lot of us feel overloaded by the process.

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The amount of scientific information we've discovered in the last twenty years is more than all the discoveries up to that point, from the beginning of language.

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The kind of people who become graphic artists may not be mathematically inclined. They're artists, artistically inclined.

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In order to understand one person speaking to us, we need to process 60 bits of information per second.

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When a language advances and adds a third term to its lexicon for color, the third term is always red.

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Love is about feeling that there is something bigger than just ourselves and our own worries and existence. Whether it is love of another person, of country, of God, of an idea, love is fundamentally an intense devotion to this notion that something is bigger than us. Love is ultimately larger than friendship, comfort, ceremony, knowledge, or joy. Indeed, as the Four Wise Ones once said, it may be all you need.

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When we have learned something, there's this thing called belief perseverance.

Having learned something, we tend to cling to that belief, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

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I have never seen a proton or electron spinning around it.

I have never actually seen a chromosome. I trust that they exist because people who I trust tell me they do.

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I don't think I'm always right, but I would like to empower people to come to sound conclusions using a systematic way of looking at things.

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I agree with the sentiment that it's probably more dangerous to believe some things that aren't so than to not believe something - you know, to believe in a lie.

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The power of art is that it can connect us to one another, and to larger truths about what it means to be alive and what it means to be human.

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We can be skeptical, suitably skeptical, and we can trust news outlets, some more than others.

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A song playing comprises a very specific and vivid set of memory cues.

Because the multiple-trace memory models assume that context is encoded along with memory traces, the music that you have listened to at various times of your life is cross-coded with the events of those times. That is, the music is linked to events of the time, and those events are linked to the music.

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The Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger (tutor to Nero) complained that his peers were wasting time and money accumulating too many books, admonishing that "the abundance of books is a distraction." Instead, Seneca recommended focusing on a limited number of good books, to be read thoroughly and repeatedly.

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In order to be a world-class expert in anything, be it audiology, drama, music, art, gymnastics, whatever, one needs to have a minimum of 10,000 hours of practice. Unfortunately, it doesn't mean that if you put in 10,000 hours that you will become an expert, but there aren't any cases where someone has achieved world-class mastery without it! So the time spent at the activity is indeed the most important and influential factor.

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It's getting harder and harder to know, when you find things on the Internet, what you can believe and what you can't.

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The mammalian brain evolved exquisite place memory because that was essential for survival. This is why squirrels have such a good memory for where they buried their nuts.

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