Connection Between Music and the Brain

How does music affect emotional and intellectual activity in the brain?

Connection Between Music and the Brain


Music is an extremely significant part of our lives. We feel comforted by music in difficult times. We feel motivated by music when exercising or completing a task. We find happiness in music, and sometimes sadness as well. Music emotionally affects us and can alter our moods. Music elicits a powerful effect on the brain and this article will explore how it does so. 


How does music affect mood? When listening to a particular piece of music, have you ever felt goosebumps rise on your skin? Or felt like you were floating and invisible? Well, this is the result of the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, dopamine being released. Listening to music has been shown to increase blood flow to brain regions that are responsible for the regulation of emotions. When you hear the first notes of a song that you are very familiar with, your adrenal glands release dopamine. 

Science has found that people who have suffered a brain injury can still appreciate the emotion conveyed in music, even though they may not be able to distinctly identify certain melodies. Researchers believe this is because the temporal lobe of the brain, which is responsible for melody recognition, was damaged in these individuals. However, the frontal lobes of the brain, which are responsible for emotional regulation, were not affected.


Now how does music affect your brain intellectually? According to evidence, listening to music may help the brain process information more efficiently and adapt faster. Listening to music will improve brain functions such as memory, learning, and auditory processing. Music reduces anxiety and depression, as well as pain and blood pressure and it helps you repossess forgotten memories and form new neural connections. 


The benefits of listening to music are not restricted to a single genre. It can be one or more genres and it typically depends on your personal preferences in music. But when it comes to learning, different genres of music help with different brain functions. Soothing and instrumental music is usually best when studying, reading, or completing a task that requires concentration. More optimistic and upbeat music is good for energizing you which boosts learning. 


Did you know that music also boosts your immune system?! An antibody that helps protect the immune system and attack viruses called immunoglobulin A is found to be produced when you listen to music. 


So, with this information, I recommend you go and listen to your favorite song right now! 🙂