Music is one of the greatest inventions of mankind. All people, even if they are not music lovers, hear music every day. Music affects peoples’ moods, actions, and decisions.
The influence of music on brain function is a serious factor that should not be underestimated. If musicians create music, then scientists will figure out how it affects people. It turns out that music has a direct effect on the human brain.
1. Preferences in Music and Personality Type
It is believed that preferences in music can predict personality type and that lovers of certain genres are often similar to each other. Scientists tested more than a thousand adolescents to determine the main characteristics of their personality (extraversion, goodwill, emotional stability, consciousness, and openness to experience). Then these features were compared with their musical tastes.
It turned out that, for example, adolescents who prefer rock have low levels of consciousness and high openness to experience. Those who prefer pop and dance music are more extroverted and friendly.
2. We Enjoy Music Because of Our Love of Predictability
Arguing that humanity loves listening to music isn’t difficult and even our brain confirms it. Listening to music activates centers of our brain responsible for pleasure, which is often activated during the ingestion of food and sex. But music, unlike food and reproduction, humanity does not need it to survive. The question arises: why do we receive pleasure when listening to music?
There is a theory according to which we like to predict the possible turns of melodies. People generally tend to try to predict the future, and music is a great option for this.
Listening to music, we are trying to predict which note will sound next and how the rhythm will change. If our prediction is right, the reward system activates in the brain and we experience positive emotions.
3. We Have a Different Perception of Live Music and Records
Maybe you notice that some singers sound better when they sing live – but this is not always associated only with the quality of the performances.
One of the reasons we like to visit concerts is in the mirror neuron system of the brain. It includes neurons that are activated when we experience a certain emotion, as well as when we see a person experiencing it.
For example, disgust and watching someone else who experiences it activates the islet cortex. The feeling of pain and observing as someone suffers activates half-wheeled gyrus.
The same happens at the live performances of a musician. We see the singers’ emotions and begin to experience them also. In addition, emotional contagion can happen at a concert. It is a mechanism by which mood is transmitted by the surrounding people.
4. Some People Do Not Like Music Because of the Brain Structure
Not all people enjoy music in the same way. The first reason is an amusia disease, that manifests itself in the inability to understand and play melodies.
Most often, these people have affected the temporal lobes of the brain or pathways. According to various sources, from 1.5 to 4% of the population face congenital amusia. In addition, it can occur after strokes and other brain disorders.
Of course, not everyone who does not like to listen to music has congenital amusia. Some people simply do not get pleasure from music, which happens due to the peculiarity of the brain. In such people, brain responses to tunes are weaker than those who like to listen to music.
5. Music Is Used in Medicine
Some doctors use music as a treatment method. When we listen to melodies, the autonomic nervous system relaxes which leads to a decrease in pressure and pulse, muscle tension and oxygen absorption. Music therapy is often used during post-operative rehabilitation to reduce anxiety and relieve pain.
Music can also boost our immunity. One study conducted in a children’s hospital showed that music improved their mood, but along with it increased the content of immunoglobulin in their saliva. It is important to note that research in this area is not enough to make far-reaching conclusions.
Amelia Grant believes that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. Check out her website and blog for more.
Author: Amelia Grant
Amelia Grant is a journalist and blogger that believes information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. She has a strong passion for sharing useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people. She is an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle. You can check out her website for daily updates at Amelia’s Blog.