Music to My...Brain.


| 8 Comments
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I've always been really fascinated by music. I've grown up with it my whole life. It's become such a huge part of my life, so much so that I want to pursue a career in it. However, sometimes I forget actually how much of a scientific effect the use & listening to of music has on one's brain.

Music  has an extremely beneficial effect on the brain. For instance, in a recent research project, patients about to go into surgeries were kept a close eye on. The patients were either prescribed anti-anxiety medication or a healthy dosage of music. In the end, the patients who were prescribed the latter had lower anxiety & cortisol levels versus those prescribed drugs.

This study added support to theory that music could actually be used as a type of therapy. It is cost-efficient, physically safer & has absolutely no side effects.

In addition, types of music that are pleasurable to our specific brains can be correlated to brain patterns. The brain stimulates the nucleus accumbens. The more it is stimulated, the more likely a person is to buy & listen to a song. In addition, the superior temporal gyrus acts as storage unit. The more a person hears a certain genre, the more likely they are to enjoy the piece.

It has also been found that music is very consistently received in the same manor among different crowds. That is why there is such a demand for certain musicians at concerts, because their music provides a specific chemical reaction in our brains that causes us to feel pleasure & enjoy ourselves.

It is mind-boggling to think that we don't just like a song simply because we  "just like it". There is whole science to why music makes us happier, why we favor certain genre's over others, and how it bonds certain music lovers together.

If you would like to learn more about how music affects one's brain, click HERE.
 
There is also a plethora of other effects that music can have on the brain such as the recalling of memories, boosting of the immune system, etc. If you would like to learn even more about the unheard effects of music on the brain, click HERE.

8 Comments

I've always maintained that music was magical ;)

Incredibly interesting article you found, there. I am curious though as to whether you found any information on/hypotheses about why humans have different preferences for musical genre if it triggers incredibly similar activity in the brain from person to person? My only guess from reading this article and poking around for more information would be that the musical environments we are exposed to, in shaping the superior temporal gyrus, predispose us for what we will be more willing to listen to (or at least try) in the future. For example, I was raised on 90s country (Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks...and older stuff like Cash, too). For the longest time I really did like this style a lot, yet had an inexplicable hatred for rap and hip-hop. But then as I aged I developed more of a taste for rock and metal as all my friends exposed me to that, then in high school I developed a love of indie bands, and now again in college I've come to take a strong liking to hip-hop (but not rap...there is a line IMO) from my roommates berating me with it on a daily basis. I still enjoy my childhood 90s country, but less than I used to, perhaps because my superior temporal gyrus (and maybe even nucleus accumbens?) has been reshaped.

All just a guess, of course. But thanks for the post, as a fellow music-worshiper, it was fascinating.

Since this was playing while I wrote this comment, I hope you listen and enjoy it as well :)

I've always maintained that music was magical ;)

Incredibly interesting article you found, there. I am curious though as to whether you found any information on/hypotheses about why humans have different preferences for musical genre if it triggers incredibly similar activity in the brain from person to person? My only guess from reading this article and poking around for more information would be that the musical environments we are exposed to, in shaping the superior temporal gyrus, predispose us for what we will be more willing to listen to (or at least try) in the future. For example, I was raised on 90s country (Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks...and older stuff like Cash, too). For the longest time I really did like this style a lot, yet had an inexplicable hatred for rap and hip-hop. But then as I aged I developed more of a taste for rock and metal as all my friends exposed me to that, then in high school I developed a love of indie bands, and now again in college I've come to take a strong liking to hip-hop (but not rap...there is a line IMO) from my roommates berating me with it on a daily basis. I still enjoy my childhood 90s country, but less than I used to, perhaps because my superior temporal gyrus (and maybe even nucleus accumbens?) has been reshaped.

All just a guess, of course. But thanks for the post, as a fellow music-worshiper, it was fascinating.

Since this was playing while I wrote this comment, I hope you listen and enjoy it as well :)

I, too have always been "wowed" by music. This article I found rather interesting. Although, I don't necessarily agree with the concept of if you listen to a something enough you will learn to like it. I feel that it has the opposite effect for me. I do however, love to listen to music wherever and whenever. It makes my day that much better. Different music genres put me in different mind sets. Music alters my mood in amazing ways. I like to listen to fast, upbeat songs at the gym. It gives me motivation and the energy to want to work out. Before falling asleep, I enjoy listen to relaxing, calm songs. My favorite pandora station to listen to right before bed is the Goo Goo Dolls even though a lot of the songs are not recent. I find them very relaxing. This station puts me right to sleep. Feel free to cheek it out right here.

I can totally relate to this article as I find music to be my zen. Any time I get in an argument with someone, get depressed, feel lonely, want to dance, or just feel like being in a good mood, I always resort to music. For me, the beat is important but lyrics to a song are what really hit me. Artists know which lyrics and songs to select for the world to hear and they tend to pick the ones that can be related to. For a fan to know that they are not alone in a situation is very comforting and be very therapeutic. Artists like Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, and Macklemore have belted tunes that have allowed people to be loving, accepting, and supportive of themselves and others through powerful lyrics like 'No matter gay straight or bi, lesbian transgendered life, I'm on the right track baby I was born to survive' in Gaga's Born This Way song. Also, if you hear a tune when you are in a good, relaxed mood and hear it again in a stressed overwhelmed situation, you basically conditioned yourself to bring back those happy thoughts the first time hearing it. Overall, this article seems very accurate with music being an inexpensive therapeutic technique that a lot of people are not completely aware of!

Really interesting blog Deanna! I have noticed that certain music always puts me in certain zones. When I am walking to class and I listen to music, it makes me so focused! Sometimes I walk right past people that I know because I am so zoned in on the song and where I am going and I don't even notice them! ( when I find out that people saw me but I didn't wave back I feel awful!). It's really cool how the brain works to process the sounds and words that come from a song. I was reading a New York Times article that was discussing why we like music so much. This article stated that when we hear what is called the "peak emotional moments" of songs, dopamine is released into the brain. Who knew that listening to music could be a natural high?! What contributes to this release of dopamine is the idea of anticipation. When our brain anticipates that something is going to happen and then the action we thought was going to happen does occur, that is the reward. If you would like to read more of this article here is the link! http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/opinion/sunday/why-music-makes-our-brain-sing.html?_r=0

I know for me, music is very stimulating depending on my mood, such as studying or going for a run or relaxing or getting pumped up. I believe it absolutely affects the brain and studies like the one you wrote about reminded me of this video I saw last year, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKDXuCE7LeQ, where this old man who has been in a nursing home for several years, was exposed to music of his era and immediately lit up and began to respond in many positive ways. That to me is no fluke, but a prime example of music at work in our brains!

I agree with this 100%! Music has been a huge part of my life, as well, and I have encountered numerous situations where listening to music has positively affected the outcome. I wasn't aware there was so much science behind it, but now that I know, I find it so interesting! I looked into this phenomenon online and found this article (below) that breaks down how music affects different aspects of our lives such as stress, sleeping patterns, learning, anxiety, and overall mood. I find it most interesting when considering how much music impacts ones ability to retain information. The website mentions how connecting information learned, such as your ABCs as a child, with a familiar tune, can help individuals recall the information when needed. This is so true! Read through this website for more examples when you get a chance!


http://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Pages/Music-and-Mood.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token

I have always wondered what makes different people favor different genres. I think it's very interesting that it is, in fact, partially wired in our brain. However, many people like to listen to the music they "grew up on." You know, what their parents listened to, or their older siblings. I know that I was influenced by what those around me were listening to, yet I also made independent choices and listened to the bands that I found on my own. I also found it interesting that according to this article, music appeals to the same part of the brain that responds to what they call "naturally rewarding stimuli" such as food and sex. I also found it interesting that this part of the brain is found in many other organisms too, which makes me wonder if music could also be used to treat animals that are depressed (I have heard of this happening in zoos and such).

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