An exploration of music, including what happens when people hear music and how it affects their emotions, is the focus of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology’s upcoming ArtsFusion seminar.

Dori Berger, an expert in the field of music-based treatment with a special interest in autism spectrum disorder, will present “What Is This Thing Called ‘Music:’ Music in Human Adaptation,” on Monday, Oct. 21, at 5 p.m. in the Fralin Life Science Institute auditorium, 360 West Campus Drive. 

Berger will discuss how music has permeated people’s lives through a variety of avenues, such as commercials, radio, iPods, and even cues to station breaks on television. She will examine the reasons people listen to music, from the fulfillment of emotional needs to the desire for entertainment.

Berger will share her thoughts about what music is and why it exists, and discuss what the brain looks like when people experience music. Attendees will listen to different types of music and be asked to think about what happens when certain music is played.

On Oct. 19, Berger will lead the workshop, “The Sensory Systems, Eurhythmics, and Sensori-Motor Music-Based Interventions for Autism and Neurophysiological Disorders,” at the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology Studio, Collegiate Square, Blacksburg, Va. Berger will discuss clinical music treatment approaches for altering sensory distress and provide an opportunity for attendees to sample sensory issues as experienced by those with autism spectrum diagnoses. The workshop is designed for students interested in health professions, music therapists, music education students and teachers, parents, school administrators, and music and science researchers. Register for the workshop online. The online registration deadline is Oct. 14.

Berger’s visit is co-presented by the Virginia Tech Center for Autism Research and Continuing and Professional Education.

ArtsFusion, presented by the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, is a series of thought-provoking events that bring cutting-edge artists, scientists, engineers, and designers to the Virginia Tech campus to explore topics across disciplines. ArtsFusion events take place monthly during the academic year, and are free and open to the public.