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EFFECTS OF MUSIC ON THE BRAIN

“Music activates many regions of the brain, including auditory, motor and limbic (associated with emotions) (46). Such widespread activation of brain explains many beneficial emotional and cognitive music effects.

Music enhances intelligence, learning, and IQ

The idea that music makes you smarter received considerable attention from scientists and the media. Listening to music or playing an instrument can actually make you learn better. And research confirms this.

Music has the power to enhance some kinds of higher brain function:

  • Reading and literacy skills (11-13)
  • Spatial-temporal reasoning (14-15)
  • Mathematical abilities (16-17) – Even children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder benefit in mathematics tests from listening to music beforehand.
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Recall of autobiographical and episodic information (44-45)

The Mozart effect

Earlier it has been thought that listening to classical music, particularly Mozart, enhances performance on cognitive tests. However, recent findings (18) show that listening to any music that is personally enjoyable has positive effects on cognition.

Music improves memory performance

The power of music to affect memory is quite intriguing. Mozart’s music and baroque music, with a 60 beats per minute beat pattern, activates the left and right brain. The simultaneous left and right brain action maximizes learning and retention of information.

The information being studied activates the left brain while the music activates the right brain. Also, activities which engage both sides of the brain at the same time, such as playing an instrument or singing, cause the brain to be more capable of processing information.

Listening to music facilitates the recall of information (19).

Researchers have shown that certain types of music are a great “keys” for recalling memories. Information learned while listening to a particular song can often be recalled simply by “playing” the songs mentally.

Musical training has even better effect than just listening to classical music.
There is clear evidence (20), that children who take music lessons develop a better memory compared with children who have no musical training.

Note: For learning or memory performance, it’s important that music doesn’t have a vocal component; otherwise you’re more likely to remember the words of the background song than what you’re supposed to be recalling.

Music improves concentration and attention

Easy listening music or relaxing classics improves the duration and intensity of concentration in all age groups and ability levels. It’s not clear what type of music is better, or what kind of musical structure is necessary to help, but many studies have shown significant effects (21)…”

Retrieved from EMedExpert on May 24, 2016 http://www.emedexpert.com/tips/music.shtml
References
1. Besson M, Schon D, Moreno S, Santos A, Magne C. Influence of musical expertise and musical training on pitch processing in music and language. Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2007;25(3-4):399-410. PubMed
12. Register D. The effects of an early intervention music curriculum on prereading/writing. J Music Ther. 2001 Fall;38(3):239-48. PubMed
13. Overy K. Dyslexia and music. From timing deficits to musical intervention. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2003 Nov;999:497-505. PubMed
14. Spatial-Temporal Task Performance Jausovec N, Jausovec K, Gerlic I. The influence of Mozart’s music on brain activity in the process of learning. Jausovec N, Jausovec K, Gerlic I. Clin Neurophysiol. 2006 Dec;117(12):2703-14. PubMed
15. Sarnthein J, vonStein A, Rappelsberger P, Petsche H, Rauscher FH, Shaw GL. Persistent patterns of brain activity: an EEG coherence study of the positive effect of music on spatial-temporal reasoning. Neurol Res. 1997 Apr;19(2):107-16. PubMed
16. Schmithorst VJ, Holland SK. The effect of musical training on the neural correlates of math processing: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study in humans. Neurosci Lett. 2004 Jan 16;354(3):193-6. PubMed
17. Rauscher FH, Shaw GL, Levine LJ, Wright EL, Dennis WR, Newcomb RL. Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children’s spatial-temporal reasoning. Neurol Res. 1997 Feb;19(1):2-8. PubMed
18. Schellenberg EG, Hallam S. Music listening and cognitive abilities in 10- and 11-year-olds: the blur effect. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Dec;1060:202-9. PubMed
19. Mammarella N, Fairfield B, Cornoldi C. Does music enhance cognitive performance in healthy older adults? The Vivaldi effect. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2007 Oct;19(5):394-9. PubMed
20. Ho YC, Cheung MC, Chan AS. Music training improves verbal but not visual memory: cross-sectional and longitudinal explorations in children. Neuropsychology. 2003 Jul;17(3):439-50. PubMed
21. Patston LL, Hogg SL, Tippett LJ. Attention in musicians is more bilateral than in non-musicians. Laterality. 2007 May;12(3):262-72. PubMed
44. Baird A, Samson S. Music evoked autobiographical memory after severe acquired brain injury: preliminary findings from a case series. Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2014;24(1):125-43 PubMed
45. Jäncke L. Music, memory and emotion. J Biol. 2008 Aug 8;7(6):21. PubMed
46. Alluri V, Toiviainen P, Jääskeläinen IP, Glerean E, Sams M, Brattico E. Large-scale brain networks emerge from dynamic processing of musical timbre, key and rhythm. Neuroimage. 2012 Feb 15;59(4):3677-89.

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