Essay On The Effects Of Music On Human Brain

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For years, scientists across a variety of disciplines have been interested in how music affects humans physically and emotionally and have conducted numerous studies attempting to discover how and why music affects the human brain so intensely. While the how and why are still not completely understood, one can safely say that music does affect the human brain and the human experience across the lifetime of an individual. Music has a profound physical effect on humans. According to the article “Notes to Live By,” in response to music “our pupils dilate, our pulse and blood pressure rise, and the electrical conductance of our skin is lowered” (Khullar Relph). Perhaps even more importantly, music affects the brain, particularly the pleasure …show more content…
Scientists are particularly interested in the effects of music on memory. In the article “Music Training: Lifelong Investment to Protect the Brain from Aging and Hearing Loss,” the authors state, “Music training has emerged as a potential tool to set up the brain for healthy aging. Due to the overlap between neural circuits dedicated to speech, and the strong engagement of cognitive, sensorimotor, and reward circuits during music making, music training is thought to be a strong driver of neural plasticity” (Kraus and White-Schwoch). According to the authors, it seems that older adult musicians have an advantage over non-musicians when it comes to “memory, attention, speed of processing, and understanding speech in noise” (Kraus and White-Schwoch). Other researchers are considering the effects of music on those with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Three areas that seem to be positively influenced are “memory (particularly autobiographical memory) and language retention; mood and depression; and aggression and agitation. While there are no conclusive results, the author of “Music and Dementia: Observing Effects and Searching for Underlying Theories” notes that one study indicates that “individuals with dementia remember the words to songs they had sung during therapy sessions better than spoken material” and that another study “showed that following music therapy, performance on speech content and fluency of spontaneous speech was better than following therapeutic conversations sessions (Spiro). There are enough studies indicating the positive effects of music on memory that music therapy should be part of treatment plans for the elderly diagnosed with dementia or

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