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UTHSC neuroscientist elected to music research foundation board

San Antonio (Aug. 15, 2003) — Lawrence M. Parsons, Ph.D., of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC), has been elected to the board of trustees of the International Foundation for Music Research. His term extends through 2006.

Dr. Parsons, associate professor at UTHSC's Research Imaging Center, is an expert in the neural basis of cognition, perception and motor behavior in humans. The functional neuroanatomy involved in music perception, comprehension and performance is one of his main areas of interest.

Evidence suggests that music is "associated with a specific brain architecture," Dr. Parsons said at a 2002 conference at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in London. This points to "discrete brain systems and computations active for particular music experiences and skills, and these systems are distributed through the left and right cerebral cortex, sub-cortex and cerebellum," he said.

Dr. Parsons returned to the Research Imaging Center (RIC) in July after a two-year stint as founding director of the National Science Foundation's cognitive neuroscience program. The federal agency recruits front-line researchers for visits of one to three years to direct a program. "His selection was a great honor for Dr. Parsons personally and great recognition for the Research Imaging Center," said Peter T. Fox, M.D., director of the RIC.

Contact: Will Sansom