Music and the brain they influence each other, if the brain sometimes decides what music we want to listen to, there are also occasions when music affects the brain directing him towards particular choices and emotions. Positive, often, but also negative. It then depends on the point of view. There is a recent study that adds a piece to what is the relationship discovered so far to exist between Music and the brain. Indeed it seems that our favorite song has an effect similar to that of LSD on the brain, activates the same receptors that are usually reactive when we consume hallucinogenic substances.
Music and brain: studying
Conducting the study was theUniversity of Zurich whose researchers, coordinated by Katrin Preller, made this discovery, which is important beyond the initial stir caused in the media, because it could help to fine-tune new treatments for the treatment of psychiatric diseases or phobias at the root of the difficulties sometimes felt when it comes to attributing meaning to things.
Published in the journal Current Biology, the results emerged from an experiment carried out on a group of volunteers, to evaluate the influence that LSD has on the way in which the environment is perceived and a meaning is attributed to things. Some volunteers took LSD combined with ketanserina so that this drug blocked the ability of LSD to act on serotonin. The second group of volunteers behind this Music and Brain experiment took a placebo.
Making everyone listen a variety of musical pieces, initially meaningless for all participants in both groups, it was noted that those who had taken LSD began to react in a particular way to the notes that reached their ears.
With Ketanserin, seratonin blocked, the effect decreased, the hallucinogenic effects disappeared completely. This makes us understand how Music and brain are linked, how a particular song is able to get action in the brain the same receptors to which hallucinogenic substances, such as LSD, bind.
Taking this one step further, which will make this study doubly useful, the researchers concluded that the receptors that allow us to attribute a special meaning to things are those activated by LSD. Magnetic resonance imaging provided images where it is evident that LSD acts on brain structures in the midline which are those related toattribution of a special meaning given to oneself.
Music and the brain: effects
Not only this but above all previous studies on Music and the brain they pointed out that the melodies we listen to induce us to release dopamine. Said like this, it is not significant, but let's think about the fact that the emotional stimuli related to music are identical or almost identical to those related to food, sex and drugs. Faced with all this, a mechanism is activated in us that involves the subcortical brain circuit in the limbic system, formed by brain structures that manage physiological responses to emotional stimuli.
Another effect that visibly binds Music and the brain is that of memories. Our "head" response to what we hear with our ears is conditioned by what we have heard in the past, within us we have a sort of database of melodies already heard.
Music and the brain: therapies
Even before the study we talked about, the link between Music and the brain it was the basis for therapies aimed at improving, maintaining or recovering cognitive, emotional and social functions. Another purpose could be that of slow down the progression of some diseases and aging.
In fact, we have been hearing about music therapy, often used with good results with those suffering from motor disorders or dementia, or with children with special abilities.
Music becomes the key to recovering linguistic and motor activities because it is a stimulus that manages to reach and activate almost all regions of the brain, those concerning emotions, knowledge and movement. Music therapy often puts you in a good mood, increases excitement, promotes neuro-plasticity so that the deficits of possibly damaged brain regions can be compensated for.
Music and the brain: tips
The magical and scientific links between Music and the brain, and the resulting benefits, are not reserved for those with particular ailments. We can all use melodies to live better. I know too newborns, and their mothers: the little ones are more reactive to music than to verbal language, they relax by listening to the sweet sounds. A valuable advice for those dealing with babies born prematurely or suffering from insomnia.
At any age, lmusic helps you face the day, because it can affect mood even without our consent. The right notes can relax us, energize us, pamper us, motivate us, and even make us fall asleep after a hectic day.
If you liked this article keep following me also on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram
Related articles that may interest you:
- Resilience: meaning
- Strange and curious phobias
- Body language
- Music for meditation
- How to build musical instruments by recycling