By Ivonne Lara
There is nothing like music. Throughout the history of mankind, signs have been found that music was made from an early stage. Regardless of its social effect and that it was the obligatory accompaniment in dances, rites and festivals, music has remained as something inherent in the development of human history.
Music activates more parts of the brain than any other human stimulus
On the other hand, there is the evolution of music itself, its stages, its use as a distinctive and cultural trait make it seem infinite, so different in each region, time, culture, subculture, niche, stratum, band, urban tribe, person ... thus until the infinite. And if that were not enough, music, that which makes life a success, has powerful effects on the human body.
There have been multiple scientific studies that have addressed the effects of music on people, including animals and plants. What has been found are no small thing, let's learn a little about this.
The effects on the brain are amazing
As I said, different studies have been carried out over time, and in them it has been found that music, for example, affects the chemistry of the brain. And it is that the music that is pleasant to us makes us release dopamine, a neurohormone released by the hypothalamus, and that is related to pleasure; However, it has other beneficial functions such as being present in the processes of learning, behavior, motor activity, sleep, humor, attention.
That is why other studies have found in music the relationship in the improvement of motor activity in the treatment of patients with Parkinson's or the increase of spatial reasoning in autistic patients and support in therapies for patients suffering from seizures.
When you listen to music…
Your brain is activated in different areas. Below you can see the parts that are activated, in fact this graph, which belongs to a study conducted by the University of Florida, suggests that music activates more parts than any other human stimulus.
- Regulates the level of hormones related to stress.
- Strengthens memory and learning.
- It affects the speed of brain waves.
- Recreate memories.
- And much, much more, in the following video some points are clarified in this regard
When you play music ...
Your brain enters processes that at first glance do not seem so powerful. But they are. A study in children showed that children with a musical education of 3 years or more had a increased fine motor skills, as well as in the auditive discrimination (This is essential for the study of languages other than the mother tongue). These children also had better vocabulary, better skills in their non-verbal language and their understanding of visual information, distinguishing similarities, differences in shapes and patterns more easily.
When you do group music
If you have ever sung in a choir or made music with someone else you will know what this point refers to. A very interesting study found the scientific answer to that feeling of working together or the waves of emotion that run when you are singing along with other people. And is that they literally sync. It was found for example that singing in unison makes the singers' hearts speed up and slow down simultaneously.
Music as energizer
This is said of music since listening to it affects heartbeat, pulse, and blood pressure. Also, as mentioned above, music is capable of changing the speed of brain waves, therefore, music with a pulse of about sixty beats per minute can change beta consciousness towards the alpha range, this improves alertness and general well-being, something very similar to what happens with meditation and yoga.
Charity and more
In other studies it has been found that music directly affects the strengthening of the immune system, this due to the activity of the brain that occurs, the well-being that can be felt, as well as the decrease in anxiety levels. In fact, it was found that listening to music for just fifteen minutes could increase levels of a family of proteins associated with blood and platelet production, lymphocyte stimulation and cellular protection against AIDS, cancer and other diseases.
Music can strengthen the immune system
It has also been found that listening to music while exercising can help us "confuse" our brain and override its constant fatigue signals that it sends out, which would lead to stopping activity. The pace we use to exercise can be beneficial. In fact, it was found in another study that cyclists who listened to music require 7% less oxygen to do the same training than cyclists who do it silently. Here is a small graph with the type of exercise and the beats that you need to put in your playlists to increase your results.
Not so beneficial music
Now, after reviewing some benefits of music and how it stimulates our body, it is also true that music can affect us in a negative way. And it is that the music that we dislike generates stress, the volume at which it is heard also affects the benefits of the music, if it is very high, it can also generate anxiety. In turn, we know of some cases in which music has been used as a form of torture and it is that the emotional level to which it is connected is really powerful, as well as the level of attention that it requires from us and that can literally tear us to pieces if used for such purposes.
Lastly, have you ever had an "ear worms"? This disastrous situation where you can't get rid of a melody has also been the subject of study by scientists. What has been found is that "musical worms" are melodically and rhythmically simple, causing neural circuits to become jam in a loop that repeats over and over. It can even be so damaging that it raises people's anxiety levels. In these cases, it is suggested to listen to other melodies or sounds that help to get out of the loop in which the brain is located.