Music And Its Effects On The Brain Essay

Music And Its Effects On The Brain Essay

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Music has always been an important part of our identity as human beings; it’s existed for millennia, transcending generations, languages, and cultures all around the world and affects each individual person differently – yet its effect is often profound. It has been proven through numerous tests and studies utilizing technologies like MRI that when exposed to music, certain areas of the brain are stimulated much more intensely than while not being exposed or doing other things. The auditory cortex is the specific region for processing sounds, but music actually stimulates other regions including those associated with emotions, movement, and memory; it is believed that music will activate these areas of the brain in everyone, regardless of musical preference. Research is still being done into exactly to what extent and how or why music affects the brain, but we understand immensely more now than we did mere years ago and scientists are always discovering new things – some day we may even be able to use specific kinds of music to help combat certain illnesses, which is actually the subject of many studies done in the last decade.
Music therapy may sound like something out of science fiction or an unrealistic dream, but it is almost certainly real and something viable for many people suffering from a range of different physical and mental illnesses. Not only has music been proven to relax the mind and reduce stress (whether it be classical, ambient, or something self-selected deemed to be relaxing), but it’s also been shown to help reduce the frequency of migraines, improve global and social functioning in schizophrenia and other serious mental disorders, gait and related activities in Parkinson’s disease, depressive symptoms, and s...


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...cipation is met. The response the brain elicits may also depend on the type or genre of music a person is subjected to; in one study computer algorithms were used to identify specific aspects of the music, which the researchers were able to match with specific activated brain areas (seen using fMRI). Their findings demonstrated that vocal and instrumental music get treated differently – while both hemispheres of the brain deal with musical features, the presence of lyrics shifts the processing of musical features to the left auditory cortex, which suggests that the brain’s hemispheres are specialized for different kinds of sound processing. While research is being done into the effects that specific styles and genres of music have on the brain, we still have much to learn and no definitive answers have yet been reached, and so that topic is one for future discussion.

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