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Music and the Brain

6 Ways Music Affects the Brain

Music and the Brain

A lot of people listen to music. However, many people do not know the effects music has on the mind. Since music plays such an integral part of our daily lives, we decided to write about the ways music affects the brain functions. Here are 6 ways music affects the brain.

1. The Type of Music You Listen to Reflects Your Personality: Research has shown that your music preferences may have a reflection on your personality. For example, people who listen to pop music tend to have extroverted personalities. People who prefer pop music tend to have high self-esteem. However, they tend to be less creative and more stressed out than other people. Rap listeners tend to be more confident and gregarious. Rock music fans tend to be more easy going, introverted and creatively inclined. Indie listeners are also shown to be introverted and creative. However, they may suffer from low self-esteem. People who listen to dance music are often more assertive and outgoing. Classical music aficionados tend to be more laid back and quiet. Jazz listeners are often extraverted and confident. Keep in mind this is not applicable to everyone. In other words, it is a general rule.

2. Music Helps Us Exercise: Often we see people listening to music with their headphones at the gym. Listening to music gives the brain attention. In fact, it draws brain’s attention from fatigue. People who listen to faster upbeat music tend to push themselves harder compared to people who do not listen to music.

3. Music Can Be A Reflection of Your Mood: Cognitive research has shown that our brains tend to respond differently to happy and sad music. The way we interpret a piece of music can be expressed through our facial expressions.

4. Music Can Benefit Your Health: A good way to reduce high blood pressure is to listen to relaxing music. Another way music can benefit our health is that it can enhance our immunity. Music has been shown to reduce the amount of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a stress related hormone. People who have a higher level of cortisol in their body tend to have a weaker immune system.

5. Music Can Increase Productivity at Work: People often listen to music while they are on the job. Did you know that music can help to get more work done? It is important to note that only classical music and rock music increase work efficiency.

6. Music Reduces Stress: How does music relieve stress? It can help relax tense muscles and make you have less negative emotions. Many people consider music to be therapeutic when they are feeling sad and depressed.

Brain connections strengthened by early music lessons

Brain connections strengthened by early music lessons.

A new Canadian study suggests music lessons in youth aid brain development; the earlier the training, the stronger the brain connection.

Researchers say brain scans show that those who began early have stronger connections between motor regions — the parts of the brain that help you plan and carry out movements.

The study provides strong evidence that the years between ages six and eight are a “sensitive period” when musical training interacts with normal brain development to produce long-lasting changes in motor abilities and brain structure.

Scientist maps how brain changes when being creative

Scientist maps how brain changes when being creative.

Different parts of the brain are active at different times and when it is engaged in a creative pursuit, that’s especially so. Not only do creative tasks require a specific part of the brain to be active, but the brain also shuts down other parts, to get you out of your own way. This is the beauty of brain plasticity.

This is your brain on freestyle rap

This is your brain on freestyle rap.

Using brain scans, scientists try to find the hallmark of a creative process.

In the worldwide cultural juggernaut that is hip-hop, it’s widely understood that the spontaneous lyrical improvisation of freestyle rap is the genre’s purest form of creation. More often than not, how well a rapper navigates this stream-of-conscious realm is the yardstick by which talent is measured.

Brain waves transformed into music

Brain waves transformed into music.

Naturally, our brain activity waxes and wanes. When listening, this oscillation synchronizes to the sounds we are hearing.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences have found that this influences the way we listen. Hearing abilities also oscillate and depend on the exact timing of one’s brain rhythms. The discovery that sound, brain, and behaviour are so intimately coupled will help us to learn more about listening abilities in hearing loss.