"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Why is music good for the brain?

Does music really affect your well-being, learning, cognitive function, quality of life and even happiness? Oh Recent surveys A study conducted by the AARP on Music and Mental Health revealed some interesting findings concerning the effects of music on cognitive and emotional well-being:

  • Music listeners had higher scores for mental well-being and barely lower levels of hysteria and depression than people overall.
  • Of survey respondents who currently attend musical performances, 69% rated their mental health as “excellent” or “very good,” compared with 58% for many who had attended prior to now and 52 % for many who never attended.
  • Among those that reported frequent exposure to music as children, 68% rated their ability to learn recent things as “excellent” or “very good,” compared with 50% of those that weren't exposed to music. weren't exposed to
  • Active music engagement, including amongst those over 50 years of age, was related to higher rates of happiness and higher cognitive function.
  • Adults with no early exposure to music but who currently engage in music appreciation have above average mental health scores.

Let's take a more in-depth take a look at this study.

These are definitely very impressive results. However, this 20-minute online survey has some limitations. For one, it included 3,185 American adults age 18 and older. That's a small number in case you're reaching 328 million people across the country. For one other, it's really a poll of individuals's opinions. For example, although people may Reports His mental health was not as “excellent”. Objective measurement Mental health corresponding to an MRI scan, or perhaps a test to measure their cognition.

Finally, even when the classification was correct, the outcomes are only correlations. They don't prove, for instance, that it was childhood exposure to music that increased one's ability to learn recent things. It may be that children who grow up in additional affluent households usually tend to be exposed to music and have a greater education, which makes it easier for them to learn recent things later in life. .

But let's assume that the AARP survey results are indeed correct. How can music have such a robust effect on the brain? Although we don't know the answers needless to say, advances in cognitive neuroscience over the past few years have allowed us to invest on some possible mechanisms.

Music stimulates almost the entire brain.

Music has been shown to activate a few of the most extensive and diverse networks within the brain. Of course, Music stimulates the auditory cortex. In the temporal lobes near your ears, but that's only the start. The parts of the brain involved in emotion usually are not only activated during emotional music, They are also compatible. Music also stimulates different areas of memory. And the interesting thing is that Music activates the motor system.. In fact, it has been theorized that it's the activation of the brain's motor system that permits us to select up the beat of music. Before we start tapping our feet on it.!

Use it or lose it.

Okay, so music prompts almost the entire brain. Why is that this so vital? Well, have you ever ever heard the phrase, “If you don't use it, you'll lose it”? It seems that this is definitely true within the brain. Brain pathways—and even entire networks—are strengthened after they are used and weakened after they usually are not. The reason is that the mind is efficient. It won't trouble keeping the mental pathway strong when it hasn't been used for years. The brain will use the neurons on this pathway for something else. These sorts of changes must be intuitively obvious to you—that's why it's hard to talk a foreign language in case you haven't used it in 20 years. Many of the old pathways are damaged and the neurons are getting used for other purposes.

Music keeps your brain network strong.

So how does music promote well-being, enhance learning, stimulate cognitive function, improve quality of life, and even induce happiness? The answer is that music can activate just about all regions and networks of the brain, so it may well help strengthen quite a few brain pathways and networks, including networks that promote well-being. Learning, cognitive function, quality of life, and happiness. In fact, the one other situation through which you possibly can activate many brain networks directly is whenever you take part in social activities.

dance the night away

How do you incorporate music into your life? It's easy to do. Although AARP surveys have found that folks who actively hearken to music show the strongest brain advantages, even individuals who listen primarily to background music show advantages, so that you You can activate this music now. Music can lift your mood, so placed on a joyful tune in case you're feeling blue. Uptempo music can energize you. And in case you mix music with an aerobic and social activity, you possibly can reap the utmost health advantages. Attend a Zumba class. Do jazz aerobics. Jump to the rhythm of rock and roll. or higher yet, dance. (And yes, in a pandemic, you possibly can profit by doing these activities practically.)