What Effect Does Music Have on Your Brain? The tapping of your toes and fingers begins. Your head and shoulders can start to bob. You could find yourself on your feet, busting a dance, and joyfully belting out the lyrics in no time. The music has taken over, and the body has joined in. While it is clear that music has a physical effect on you, understanding how music and the brain interact necessitates extensive research and the ability to delve into the mysteries of the human mind. The effect is an enthralling picture of how music affects brain growth, learning, mood, and even health. Explore cognitive research and continue reading to learn more about how music influences the brain.
Music, Your Brain, & Wellbeing
When music hits our brains, one of the first things that occur is that pleasure centers are activated, releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes us feel good. The brain can also predict the most pleasurable peaks in familiar music and prime itself with an early dopamine rush because this reaction is so quick. Music, in addition to making you feel good, has been shown to be beneficial to your health. Listening to music has been linked to an increase in immunity-boosting antibodies and cells that defend against bacteria and other invaders, according to research. Music has also been shown to be successful in a number of treatment contexts, including premature birth, depression, and Parkinson’s disease. Even when it comes to brain growth, music can be beneficial. Playing an instrument, for example, is thought to increase gray matter volume in specific areas of the brain, similar to how physical activity can tone and enlarge muscles.
What Effect Does Music Have on Your Brain? Relaxing music can reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels, the hormone produced in response to stress, depending on the type of music you listen to. Research from 2013 found a correlation between music and lower stress levels in pediatric emergency room patients. According to the American Psychological Association, “in a trial of 42 children ages 3 to 11, University of Alberta researchers discovered that patients who listened to calming music when having an IV implanted experienced significantly less discomfort, and some showed significantly less anxiety, relative to patients who did not listen to music.”
Since the early twentieth century, when the study on music and memory retrieval first emerged, the number of studies has increased. Certain types of music will transport you back decades in a moment. We mentioned the documentary Alive Inside in a previous blog post titled “Studies Prove Music Boosts Brain Activity in Alzheimer’s Patients,” which chronicled how music helped patients with memory loss. “Music evokes emotion, and emotion will carry with its memory,” said neurologist Oliver Sacks. When nothing else works, it restores the feeling of life.”
It has the potential to improve learning
To relax the brain, doctors at Johns Hopkins suggest listening to music. Scientists can see the active areas of the brain light up in MRI scans as they listen to music. Researchers have discovered that the mere prospect of listening to music will entice you to learn more. People were more inspired to learn in a 2019 study when they expected to listen to a song as a reward.
The impact of music on one’s mood
Several researchers have conducted focus groups to learn why people listen to music. Participants in the study range in age, gender, and context, but they all cite the same reasons. Isn’t this one of the most popular applications of music? Researchers discovered that it aids in the regulation of emotions. It has the ability to alter people’s moods and assist them in processing their emotions.
It may aid in the reduction of anxiety
There’s plenty of proof that listening to music will help you relax in stressful circumstances. People in recovery after a stroke who listen to music for an hour are more comfortable, according to studies. Music combined with nature sounds has been shown in other research to make people feel less nervous. And people who are suffering from a critical condition feel less anxious after receiving music therapy. However, there are contradictory data as to whether or not listening to music affects the body’s physiological stress response. When people listen to music, their bodies produce less cortisol, a stress hormone, according to one report. Previous studies had found that music had no impact on cortisol levels, according to this report.
It alleviates the signs and symptoms of depression
Listening to music, particularly classical combined with jazz, had a positive effect on depression symptoms, according to a 2017 study, especially when multiple listening sessions were performed by board-certified music therapists. Not a fan of jazz or classical music? Instead, you may want to try a group percussion session. Drum circles were also found to have above-average benefits for people suffering from depression in the same study.