How Music Affects the Brain
In this short article, I’m going to cover how music affects the brain. This brain concept is important to understand when it comes to understanding how music affects our moods and actions. After all, in a day and age where technology is invading our lives, it’s only natural to want to know how music affects the brain in terms of creativity. This is especially true with technology like computers that are programmed to play certain songs or certain videos.
The way how music affects the brain is actually quite simple. Music is an auditory system. Just as there is a right and a wrong way to listen to things, there is also a right and a wrong way for our brains to process information. It is this connection and understanding between the ears and the brain that gives us the ability to distinguish between what is real and what is not. And it is this link that allows our brains to link what we hear to what we see, touch or feel.
This is how music affects the brain. It makes our brains link the sounds we hear with what we see, and the pictures we see with what we hear. It’s almost as if the music is actually “alive” in that it makes us feel and act as though the sound or the picture is alive. The brain perceives these links as a form of memory. It therefore creates a link between the elements that make up the song and the emotions the song evokes.
As you probably know already, music has been proven to have many health benefits. But did you know that it can also affect your brain in a very unique way? For example, did you know that some types of music actually reduce the production of gamma amino butyric acid ( GABA), which is a chemical in your brain that controls your reaction to pain? Did you know that certain types of music actually stimulate the production of serotonin, which is responsible for mood and positive feelings, sleep and relaxation? How music can affect your brain psychology is astounding in its scope.
In fact, one study actually showed that music can actually change the structure of the brain itself! And this was done by a renowned neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Alexander Smith successfully performed a series of tests on mice that were not genetically modified. He paired different types of music, one that they liked and one they did not, with the same results. Dr. Smith concluded that the mice that were exposed to music through their ears had significantly more grey matter than the control group.
In addition to these interesting experiments, other studies on how music affects the brain are currently being conducted. One study claims to have found evidence that playing rhythmically during meditation can actually slow down brain activity. Another study showed that listening to instrumental music while learning a new language increased brain activity. And the most recent study claims to have proof that listening to happy music can actually decrease the stress levels of people who were stressed out!
These studies on how music affects the brain continue to go on. What is clear though is that music, like any other form of art, can help us relax and escape the rigors of everyday life. If you find yourself getting all worked up over seemingly trivial things, consider listening to some instrumental music. You’ll find that it helps to de-stress and take a few moments to compose yourself a little peace.
Another way of looking at how music affects the brain is through understanding the relationship between music and creativity. Consider the fact that many of the world’s most celebrated musicians, such as Mozart and Da Vinci, were children of musicians. Their early years spent playing together in musical groups brought them an abundance of creativity that they harnessed for their own artistic endeavors. Music may not directly affect the creative process, but it can make people more open to it.