Music To Your Brain

It’s no secret that music affects people’s moods.  In today’s MetroNews an article titled “Why music feels good” described some of the brain science behind music.  What I found interesting was that there has actually been a lot of research into this topic.

The right kinds of music cause the release of chemicals including dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline (in a similar way to cocaine or Ecstasy) along with oxytocin, a.k.a. the “cuddle hormone” which promotes feelings of affection and bonding.  Within a narrow range (60-80bpm) your heart will retime itself to the beat of the music.  Slower music induces a temporary state of relaxation or depression and faster music creates anxiety and causes the brain to release stress hormones.  The tonal structure makes a difference too.

For more on this subject, have a look at Psychology Today, Discovery News, Scientific American, or ScienceNOW.  Some of the research was done here in Canada, at McGill University.

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