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Saturday, December 29, 2018

Neuroscientist Explores 'Your Brain on Music' | Music - WUWM

Maayan Silver, News Reporter explains, Christmas is over, so you may or may not hear any more renditions of Jingle Bells and White Christmas in 2018. But music is with us year round and according to a recent Nielson study, Americans are listening to more music than ever.

Photo: Eunbyul Sabrina Lee / Flickr

For many of us, music can be a source of great joy and even a way to get through difficult situations. Professor Daniel Levitin is a neuroscientist and author of This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. He explains why music helps us and what happens to your brain when you listen to it. 

"It activates the well-known pleasure center of the brain. The same part of the brain that gives you pleasurable feelings when you're hungry and then you finally eat. When you're an alcoholic and you have a drink. When you have sex," he explains. "Music activates that same region of the brain, kind of the 'sex, drugs and rock and roll' area."

He says listening to music releases dopamine, it can increase your mood by releasing serotonin and it can help serotonin stay around longer... 

According to Levitin, people who seek new music are changing their brains, but he adds that people who don't are also changing their brains.

"When you experience something new, your brain forms a pathway that represents that experience, and then the more times you repeat that experience, the more learned, the deeper the pathway becomes," he says. "And it allows you to access it. Now, that doesn't mean you'll like it. But familiarity is a part of aesthetic appreciation of anything." 
Read more... 

Recommended Reading

This Is Your Brain on Music:
The Science of a Human Obsession
Source: WUWM