Friday, May 13, 2022

How Music Affects The Brain

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Music Affects Each Brain Differently

How playing an instrument benefits your brain – Anita Collins

One of the common questions from people who want to use music to better themselves is: What is the best kind of music to listen to?

The answer is: It depends.

First, consider what you hope to achieve.

For example, listening to tunes with lyrics can be distracting if you are trying to learn and process new information.

However, this kind of music can be helpful if you are working on repetitive or mundane tasks.

A surprising finding is that listening to the wrong kind of music for the situation can sometimes be dangerous.

Patients who have had heart surgery should not listen to heavy metal music or techno sounds.

Doing so can be stressful and even cause life-threatening arrhythmias.

Second, youll always get more benefits from listening to music you actually like.

One persons music can be another persons noise, as any parent of a teenager can attest.

Neuroscientists can now see that music affects each persons brain differently.

By using functional magnetic resonance imaging , researchers have found that listening to music you like increases blood flow to the brain and brain connectivity more than listening to music you dont like.

Also, the number of areas in the brain activated by music varies depending on your musical background and tastes.

Research confirms that the best type of music to increase focus and productivity should first and foremost be music you enjoy.

Music Can Help Your Personality To Evolve

Anotherinteresting way in which music affects our brains is the fact that the musicalchoices we make work to shape our personalities.

Music helpseach of us to define the person we one day become.

In several tests, studies, and research projects examining music and youth development, the discovered results all point to the fact that specific musical preferences do indeed correspond to particular character traits in many individuals.

Opera fans, forexample, were generally found to be gentle, creative, and have high levels ofself-esteem.

Country musicfans were found to be outgoing and very hardworking.

Reggae fanswere found to be far more laid back and much more at ease with themselves andthe world around them.

Based on ourpreferences for music, social preferences, and stigmas develop between fans ofdifferent music genres.

This further helps to shape how each person sees and interacts with the world around them.

Preprocessing Of Eeg Data

In the first experiment, the EEG was recorded with a Brain Amp DC amplifier at a sampling frequency of 1000Hz. Participants were fitted with a standard, 60-electrode cap following the international 10/10 system referenced to FCz . The electrooculogram was recorded with four auxiliary electrodes, two electrodes positioned adjacent to the outer canthi of the left and right eye, and two centered above and below the left eye. For segmentation of the musical stimuli, onset triggers were used. In the second and third experiment, the EEG was recorded with a BioSemi Active Two system at a sampling frequency of 512Hz. Participants were fitted with a standard, 64-electrode cap following the international 10/10 system. The electrooculogram was also recorded with six auxiliary electrodes . For segmentation of the musical stimuli, tone bursts were embedded before and after the musical stimuli and a Cedrus StimTracker was used to identify onset and offset of each stimuli.

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Music Increases Your Ability To Pay Attention To Visualcues

Certain typesof music improve a persons visual attention levels.

In a small study involving 19 patients, the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan discovered that pleasant music could improve visual attention in patients with unilateral neglect.

Afterexperiencing a stroke in the right hemisphere of the brain, participants in thestudy were given three music options: pleasant, unpleasant, and white noisewithin 7 days of their medical event.

The individualparticipants in the study were in charge of providing the definitions of whatthey felt were pleasant or unpleasant compositions.

When theparticipants heard pleasant music, then they were more likely to experience apositive mood when compared to songs and melodies that they disliked.

At the same time, these patients all showed improvement on eye movement and task completion during the times when they listened to pleasant music.

Music And Brain Power

How Brain Reacts To Music {Infographic}

As your brain processes music, it releases the neurotransmitter called dopamine. You may have heard of this natural, mood-improving chemical in our brains.

But did you know dopamine can also improve alertness and creativity?

Furthermore, dopamine is the chemical responsible for helping us to create a routine. We can build healthy habits when our brains release dopamine. It is the physiological way our body encourages us to repeat enjoyable behaviors.

Thus, you can have a healthy and creative addiction to music. Luckily the most common side effects of music addiction are positivity and health.

Music, simply put, is a drug of the best kind.

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Music Can Aid With Hormonal Imbalances

Music especially certain types of music can even help hormonal imbalances. One study indicated that music improved hormone levels in people with certain genetic disorders such as Williams Syndrome.

The study also concluded that it could help correct other hormonal imbalances, like those associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. Though music alone isnt a perfect cure for any of these diagnoses, researchers continue to investigate how music therapy could play an important role in treating them.

Music Improves Personal Productivity Levels

Another greatway in which music is able to influence us and affect our bodies, and one whichwe touched upon previously, is the fact that music can help to increase andimprove productivity in certain circumstances and tasks.

Music and brainresearch conducted over the years has found that music stimulates human brainreceptors, which communicate with other parts of the body, and can help toimprove productivity in a number of different ways.

Studies havealso found that listening to your favorite music will help stimulate adrenalinesecretion, and other hormones, which will increase your mental focus, as wellas physical energy levels too.

Lets look atworking out in the gym as an example. When we hear our favorite song, played ata high volume, our brains will recognize this, and stimulate the adrenalglands.

The createdadrenalin from gland stimulation provides more thought clarity, increasedenergy, and improved focus so that your productivity levels can risedramatically.

This outcomecan make your workouts become more effective, if you are feeling tired orlethargic after a challenging session. It can also function as a naturalpick-me-up after a long day at work.

Some people will feel stronger once their adrenalin kicks in after listening to some music. It gives you an opportunity to lose yourself in the melodies while you work, making the experience more enjoyable.

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Music Can Relieve Pain

Weve talked about how music can relieve emotional or mental pain. But perhaps even more amazingly, it can bring relief from physical pain as well.

It does this first by distracting from the pain, much as it does during physical exercise. It also stimulates the release of happy, peaceful chemicals, which mute pain. By helping the brain release endorphins, music decreases stress levels and increases feelings of calm and happiness, which can help someone in distress.

Scientists are still exploring the ways that music therapy can help people with chronic pain.

Understanding The Power Of Music: How Music Affects The Brain

How Does Music Affect Your Brain? | Tech Effects | WIRED

Have you ever been in a foul mood and then heard a song you loved on the radio? Were betting by the end of that song, you were feeling a little more upbeat. The power of music to transform our mood and our lives goes deeper than many people realize.

Music has a tremendous impact on our brains, affecting everything from our mood to our memory function. Read on to learn more about the power of music and how it can positively impact your life.

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Background Music Stimulates Creativity

  • Helps develop cognitive skills like attention and memory.
  • Facilitates creativity by helping us through difficult periods by creating an environment that is ripe for personal expression.
  • Music evokes memories and associations. Listening to it in a relaxed, receptive state stimulates thoughts, images and feelings.

How Does Music Affect The Brain: Listening Vs Playing

In this blog, well cover everything you need to know about the power of music for our brains. Whether youre an active musician or a regular music-lover, weve got you covered.

The list of musics benefits will have you putting in your headphones and turning the volume all the way up. Or it may have you finally pick up that instrument youve always wanted to learn.

Read on to find out how music can transform our brainpower and health.

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Music Makes You More Empathetic

Music has also been shown to increase prosocial behaviors in other words, behaviors that are related to kindness, empathy, and helping others. Amazingly, this has been observed even in children as young as 14 months.

These effects were even more potent when people were observed participating in a musical activity together, such as singing in a group or dancing together.

Other studies showed that people listening to music were more likely to help others, even if it meant doing so voluntarily or spontaneously.

Music Can Improve Your Fine Motor Skills


Learning to play a musical instrument such as the piano or the violin can significantly improve childrens fine motor skills. This can make a difference in as little as two years, making even basic instruction an aid for those who need help with motor function.

This can be particularly helpful for children who are in the early stages of brain development. It can set the stage for other types of brain development later in life.

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Music Provides You With Coping Mechanisms

Music shapesthe way we perceive the world around us.

It shifts thestate of consciousness of an individual in numerous ways.

Since 1992,numerous studies have shown that music makes time seem to have an increasedspeed when played in environments where waiting is required.

Grocery storecheckout lines and waiting rooms both employ music because it changes apersons judgment of time.

Music evencreates a separate sensation of time that is based on the personal perceptionsof its cadence and tempo.

Fast melodiesmake time seem to speed up. Slow songs make time seem to slow down.

It can even affect how people experience experimental time, which is the time it takes to engage in states of tension and resolution.

How Does Music Affect The Brain

Many people listen to music to relax, help us think, celebrate, and grieve. Early teachers use music and rhythm for learning language and building memory. However, it is still a mystery how music is processed in the brain and why it stays in the memory so long. Research has found that emotional reactions can take place without there being any conscious awareness. The limbic system has been found to be the center of emotional processing. The hippocampus and the amygdala are two parts of the limbic

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Music Can Improve Physical Activity

If you think that your workout is better when you have your Spotify playlist at hand, youre not wrong. Music has been shown to make physical activity more effective! It does this by providing a distraction from pain and fatigue while increasing good hormones and decreasing stress hormones.

The result is that people have better endurance, a happier mood, and even a more efficient metabolism. There have been various studies about what type of music is the most effective for a good workout, including classical music or songs that are upbeat and energetic.

Music Can Improve Mood

How music affects your brain

Another of the science-backed benefits of music is that it just might make you happier. In one examination of the reasons why people listen to music, researchers discovered that music played an important role in relating arousal and mood. Participants rated musics ability to help them achieve a better mood and become more self-aware as two of the most important functions of music.

Another study found that intentionally trying to boost moods by listening to positive music could have an impact within two weeks. Participants were instructed to purposefully attempt to improve their mood by listening to positive music each day for two weeks.

Other participants listened to music but were not directed to become happier intentionally. When participants were later asked to describe their own levels of happiness, those who had intentionally tried to improve their moods reported feeling happier after just two weeks.

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Happy/sad Music Affects How We See Neutral Faces:

We can usually pick if a piece of music is particularly happy or sad, but this isnt just a subjective idea that comes from how it makes us feel. In fact, our brains actually respond differently to happy and sad music.

Even short pieces of happy or sad music can affect us. One study showed that after hearing a short piece of music, participants were more likely to interpret a neutral expression as happy or sad, to match the tone of the music they heard. This also happened with other facial expressions, but was most notable for those that were close to neutral.

This is very similar to how temperature and lighting can affect our productivity, where paradoxically a slightly more crowded place can be beneficial.

Music Can Improve Language Skills

Musical education has been connected to better language skills in children. By learning how to distinguish between different concepts in music such as pitch, notes, tempo, and other aspects children develop new ways to express these ideas.

This is particularly connected to learning an instrument like the piano, though it can occur with any type of musical training. Music also helps children learn to listen better and develop other skills such as finger dexterity. But its connection to language development remains particularly strong as kids form new ways to express concepts.

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Music Can Be Distracting Behind The Wheel

While most of the effects of music on the brain are good, there are a few that are detrimental, as well. The most noticeable place you might notice this is when youre behind the wheel of a car.

At least one study has indicated that listening to music while driving might distract you, and not simply because youre fiddling with the radio dial. Some types of music, such as classical, cause the driver to become too relaxed to focus effectively. Others like heavy metal tended to make the driver more erratic and aggressive.

Interestingly, the study also found that the best music for driving, if youre going to listen to any, is pop music.

It Helps The Symptoms Of Depression

Music is good for your brain!

A 2017 research review concluded that listening to music, particularly classical combined with jazz, had a positive effect on depression symptoms, especially when there were several listening sessions conducted by board certified music therapists.

Not into jazz or the classics? You may want to try a group percussion session instead. The same research review found that drum circles also had above-average benefits for people dealing with depression.

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Classical Music Can Improve Visual Attention

Its not just kids that can benefit from musical training or exposure. Stroke patients in one small study showed improved visual attention while listening to classical music.

The study also tried white noise and silence to compare the results, and found that, like the driving study mentioned earlier, silence resulted in the worst scores.

Because this study was so small, the conclusions need to be explored further for validation, but I find it really interesting how music and noise can affect our other senses and abilitiesin this case, vision.

How Music Affects The Brain Case Study

Music affects the brain in various ways. Songs elicit different feelings, thoughts, and emotions in people depending on their tempo, pitch, and rhythm. La Vie en rose is one of the most famous classic songs written and performed by Edith Piaff. When translated from French to English, the title of the song reads Life in Rosy Hues. The following survey questions can be used to determine the effect of the song on the mind and mood of listeners as well as the overall effect of music on the mind of human beings.

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Music Can Boost Your Immune System

Who would have thought that listening to music can have a big impact on how well your body can fight off disease?

Its true. Studies have been conducted that display evidence of music enhancing the amount of antibodies in your system. The presence of antibodies can be determined by measuring the level of cytokines in your blood. Cytokines are a critical component as their purpose is to allow communication between the cells that make up your immune system.

Subjects during this study were asked to simply sing for a period of one hour. Their cytokine levels were measured both before and after the duration of the music activity. Levels were shown to have increased after the hour of belting out your favorite songs, which means that the overall effectiveness of the immune system may have increased.

Isc Is Higher In Participants With Musical Training

How Music Affects Your Brain

Musical training might dispose a person to engage more readily with unfamiliar music, since trained listeners likely have more experience grappling with and learning new musical materials. Experiment 2 and 3 recruited 10 participants with some training on a musical instrument , and 10 without such training. To investigate the effect of this training on the ISC values we separated the analysis by training of participants, but averaged all 10 pieces in each category , combining Experiment 2 and 3. The resulting ISC values for each participant can be seen on Fig. for familiar and Fig. for unfamiliar music styles. The overall difference in ISC across all repeats for participants with musical training is apparent for both the familiar and unfamiliar styles. For music in familiar styles, ISC decreases across repetition for the trained participants, but not for untrained participants . These finding were verified using a 3-way repeated measures ANOVA, with repeated measures over participants, and fixed factors of repeat, familiarity and musical training. As before, we find a significant main effect of repetition =11.63, p=9.47e-04), familiarity =12.23, p=7.11e-04) and an interaction between the two =8.20, p=5.14e-03). Importantly, now also we find a main effect of musical training =6.62, p=1.91e-02).

Figure 3

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