The Neuro-plastic Side of Melodies – How Music Rewires the Brain’s Cognitive Sockets

Apart from being the entertainment staple for most of the humans, music rewires the brain is a medicine with time-tested effectiveness to back its reputation. For years, rock music has been known to evoke thoughts of power and vision in the brains of people listening to it. 21st-century studies have explored and documented the positive influence of music on rewiring the brain.

In its 2015 report ‘Action in Perception’, a team from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland has detailed how practicing an instrument can help make a person better at communication, creativity, planning, and listening.

In 2012, an article published in the Journal of Consumer Research explored the positive effects of listening to music on creative cognition.

Let’s learn more about exactly music interacts, enhances, and strengthens the brain.

the brain of music
Image Courtesy of Rampages

A Sense of Power

Music’s power to impart a sense of control and power to the listener has been documented in research studies. Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’, for instance, is an instant dose of vigor and power to a listener. Apart from a sense of being in a position of control, music works in amazing ways with your brain, leading to at least 2 kinds of thoughts:

  • Eliciting higher levels of abstract thinking
  • Helping you think beyond the ordinary, and see the ‘bigger picture’

All these traits are associated with the virtue of ‘intellectual power’. So the next time you feel a little out of control, it’s time to play some of the best rock and power beat songs.

feed your brain music
Image Courtesy of Science in Our World

A Boost to Concentration

Baroque and classical music are renowned across the globe as the trusted accomplices of all kinds of people. These genres of music have an inherent power to help the listener focus better on the task at hand, amplify the brain’s ability to memorize things and recall previously memorized things, and aid in concentration. Apart from classical and baroque music, soft instrumental and ambient music is also known to lend a sense of relaxed alertness to the listener.

So, if you’re yet to be initiated to Vivaldi and Mozart, you might want to give your Kenny G collection a try to be able to concentrate better. Songs with lyrics, however, tend to compete for the attention of the mind, and not the best options when you are involved in a task that needs the undivided attention of your mind.

Your Kids Brain on Music
Image Courtesy of Loog Guitars

Music for Overcoming Stress

Long periods of stress and anxiety can wreak havoc with the neural networks of the brain, can severely impair the immune system, and kill brain cells. This is where de-stressing music genres come to the rescue, by lowering the stress-causing hormone cortisol, and increasing the ‘feel good’ hormone called dopamine. By balancing both kinds of neurotransmitters, music helps your brain remain sane, and helps you remain emotionally stable and de-stressed.

Classic Rock is a favorite when it comes to genres that help people relax and de-stress. For some, samba music can be a source of relaxation, as well as being energized. Reggae has an inimitable quality of being able to uplift the listener emotionally. On similar lines, pop music is almost everyone’s go-to genre when it comes to enjoying a sense of well-being and joy. It’s all about being aware of what kind of genre of music helps you de-stress, and being smart enough to plug into the same when the need arrives.

Wholesome Workout for the Brain

For many centuries, it has been believed that intelligence and creativity were qualities that people were born with and not something that could be taught to them. However, music has flayed the myth black and blue and is now a potent tool to catalyze creativity and intelligence. Music works just like the many renowned whole brain learning exercises, and thinking activities.

Music naturally involves the creative right portion of the human brain as a response to the thoughtful lyrics and masterful composition of the melody. Also, music activates the logically inclined left side of the brain to understand the rhythm of the song. This way, listening to music is nothing short of a cross-fit session for your brain.

Music – The Thinker’s Secret Formula to Heightened Intelligence

Did you know that the limbic system, which is the emotional epicenter of the human brain, is activated when you listen to music? This limbic system is just like a switch that governs the brain’s ability to learn and stop learning. Also, the limbic system is connected to the prefrontal cortex of the brain, where high-level thinking, strategic decision making, and executive planning take place. No wonder, music is the go-to medicine for most ‘thinking’ individuals.

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