Music, an essential component to mankind’s culture, is said to affect the intellect of humans in several different ways. Specifically, it’s affect on infants is more important than any other age group due to the brain’s plasticity at such a young age. Music can improve learning skills, test taking skills, concentration, heartbeat, and relaxation. Understanding the human brain is a great endeavor that countless scientists have spent lifetimes on. It will probably never be fully understood, however, I think that researching music’s relationship with the brain should help uncover many mysteries. Neuroscientific studies have shown music to be an agent capable of influencing complex neurobiological processes in the brain, and has been proven to be an effective alternative therapy for core mental, physical, and emotional issues (Lin et al. 34).
Modern research has shown that music is a high complex stimulus that interacts with the human brain and “modulates synaptic plasticity and neuronal learning/readjustment in the brain” (Lin et al. 34). Basically, this means that the brain was designed to interact with music and is able to be reshaped by its recurrence. Lin et al. say that music is processed in the brain by traveling through the eardrum into the cochlea, where it is transformed into neural activity and makes its way to the thalamus, where it is essentially distributed to different areas of the brain that extracts and processeses its different qualities (35). The functions of the different areas of the brain are summarized in the table below (36). I believe that this information is crucial to
my idea that music therapy could be focused on different components of music that stimulate the sa...
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...udies conducted by Dellacherie et al. and Goycoolea et al., I believe that more research could be done with the intention of connecting these activities to forms of music therapy. This research could be beneficial in the event that music therapy has negative consequences, such as the situations brought up by Lin et al. where music therapy actually worsened episodes of anxiety, or in some cases of depression where music therapy did not affect the participant’s symptoms at all (37-38, 42). All of this put together, music has always been a part of human nature, and it is only a matter of time before we can understand utilize it. “Such investigations will help us to understand the neuroscience of listening to music, the pathophysiology of mental illness, the interconnections between them, and how to design and implement new strategies for music therapy” (Lin et al. 43).
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