Have you ever wondered how music affects the brain?
According to a recent AARP study on music and brain health, there are several interesting points about the positive effect of music on people's cognitive and emotional well-being.
The survey found that those who regularly listen to music score higher in mental well-being and reduced anxiety and depression than those who do not. Among participants who regularly attend music shows, 69% reported "excellent" or "very good" brain health, compared to 58% who had previously attended and 52% who had never attended.
In conjunction with this, of those who reported frequent exposure to music during their development, 68% of the cases found their ability to learn new things to be "excellent" or "very good" in contrast to 50% who were not exposed to music.
Thus, active music listening, even for people over 50, is associated with higher rates of happiness and good cognitive function. Similarly, adults without active exposure to music during their development also reveal to be above average in terms of mental well-being.
These are truly positive results. But how does music affect the brain? There are several points to note that answer the question, and primarily, music activates almost the entire brain.
It has been shown that music is capable of activating some of the largest and most diverse brain networks. Music activates the auditory cortex in the temporal lobes near your ears; these parts of the brain are associated with emotion and also help with emotional stability. Music also activates a variety of memory regions, as well as the motor system.
It is important to note that brain networks become stronger as they are used, and reciprocally weaker when they are not used; and this is for a simple reason of efficiency, as the brain avoids maintaining unnecessary neural networks.
Thus, it is concluded that music benefits the brain by making the neuronal networks strong, due to the capacity of activation of almost all the regions and their networks, helping learning, cognitive functions, quality of life and emotional well-being.
Do you listen to music regularly? You should! Today there are many music platforms you can choose from to create your own playlist and enjoy the incredible benefits music has for your brain and overall health.