Contrary to popular beliefs, music is just more than sweet candy to our ears. It feeds our minds as well. Whether you are into the upbeat tunes of Lady Gaga, or the tongue-twisting jams of Jay-Z, you will be glad to know that music has profound effects on the brain. Here are some of the mind marvels that you can expect just by listening to your favorite music:
Music Boosts your Memory
Do you always forget where you put your keys? Memory loss might be a sign of aging, but you do not have to let it ruin your life. Boost your memory once more by listening to your favorite tunes.
So how does music enhance memory? According to experts, tunes can stimulate the many areas of the brain – including the Hippocampus – the district that governs the area of long-term memory. By treating your ears to familiar music, feelings and emotions related to the tunes are reincarnated by the hippocampus.
Music Improves your Spatial Reasoning Skills
Spatial reasoning is defined as the ability to reason depiction, measurement, navigation and shape accurately. As one of the “Nine Kinds of Intelligence,” it is characterized by the talent to recreate a visual experience.
With the help of music – specifically piano music – you can hike your spatial reasoning IQ points by as much as 9. Mozart’s symphony (among many others) makes this possible by improving focus in the listener.
Music Makes you Less Anxious
Do you have a big job interview on the way? Perhaps you are scheduled to undergo a life-changing surgery? Whatever your concerns might be, they are sure to put some stresses on your mind. Instead of popping that expensive anti-anxiety pill, a cheap and side effect-free way to say goodbye to apprehension is to listen to music.
In a study published in “Trends in Cognitive Sciences,” patients who listened to music – instead of taking the usual anti-anxiety drugs – demonstrated lower levels of cortisol: a hormone that brings about stress.
Music Repairs Brain Damage
Are you an unfortunate victim of stroke or other brain-related conditions? You will be glad to know that music can restore your brain to its former glory.
Music is especially helpful in victims of left-sided brain injury, with symptoms such as the inability to speak. In fact, therapists treat such patients with a program called “Melodic Intonation.” Here, the patient is prodded to sing until he can talk once again. Music is said to repair the damaged parts associated with language because it helps the mind correlate the tunes with verbalisms once again.
Apart from this benefit, music ushers the release of dopamine, a feel-good hormone that enhances brain function. This is especially advantageous in individuals who have suffered from major brain damage.
Music Reduces Seizures
If you are one of the unlucky few who suffer from seizures, physical manifestations that arise from abnormal electrical activities in the brain, you can actually get rid of them once and for all just by listening to music.
According to research, calming sounds – especially the piano masterpieces of Mozart – can significantly reduce seizure-causing signals in as short as five minutes. The song’s effect on the cerebral cortex is so profound, that it has made 23 of 29 significant seizure activity decreases possible. The dramatic results are published in the 1998 experiment entitled “Mozart Effect on Epileptiform Activity.”
Music is more than just soothing – it is brain boosting as well! Make the most out of your favorite songs’ benefits by listening to them as frequently as possible.
Research suggests that listening to music in the background prior to performance a task actually helps increase cognitive functions such as memory and attention—by increasing arousal and mood. And seemingly, it doesn’t matter if you like the music or not—but it seems that music with just instruments helps people perform better than vocal music. On the contrary, vocal music, especially at higher volumes is extremely distracting and can be a detriment to your focus, memory, and attention.
If you are looking for a great pair of headphones to listen to music with, I recommend the Sony MDR XB950BT bluetooth headphones. It has very good bass and is great for any type of music. You can read my review of the product here.
Photo by: Max B/ Flickr Creative Commons