Researchers from Finland have revealed that music has a far greater impact on the brain than thought before. The research shows that music activates and invigorates the whole brain and not just those areas involved in auditory reactions. This is the first time that a study of this sort has been conducted, which focuses on how music impacts the neural networks of the brain. Different regions of the brain, which are not related to auditory senses such as those responsible for emotions, motion and creativity, are also revitalized when a person listens to music. The study provides an insight into the working of various components of the brain and how they react to music. The study has been performed in the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland and the study was headed by Dr. Vinoo Alluri.
In order to study the effects of music on the brain, participants of the study were made to listen to a piece of contemporary Argentinean Tango. While the music was being played, scientists used computer algorithms to identify the tone of the music and its musical content. While there have been previous studies that have studies music stimulus on the brain, they used stimuli that was artificially made to sound like music. The current study, however, focuses on real music. The reaction of the brain to various beats and change in music tome was studied.
Results revealed that a lot of neural networks were in play during the entire period of the music, in addition to sensory parts of the brain responsible for hearing. Further, different areas of the brain responded to different changes in the music. For example, when the beat of the music changed, the part of the brain responsible for locomotion was activated. Similarly, rhythm of the song activated the area in the brain linked to emotions. Resonance and reverberation quality of the music aroused areas of the brain related to creativity and daydreaming. In essence, the entire brain was involved in some way of the other when the music was played. This proves that music affects the whole neural system in the body and not just the auditory senses.
Prof. Petri Toivianen from the same university and a lead author of the study said that this is the first time that such a study has taken place and the results have been nothing less than astounding. The study throws light on how music is processed in the brain in a manner that is more profound than other ways of judging the effect of music on brain.