Music, both listening to and performing it, reactivates brain regions connected with memory, thinking, communication, emotion, and reward. Two recent studies, one in the United States and one in Japan, discovered that music not only helps us access stored memories, but it also helps us create new ones.
In one study, participants watched a one-minute video of someone interacting with one of three fake objects: a guitar, a drum set, or a tambourine. After viewing the video, they were asked to remember what object was shown in it. Then they listened to four minutes of music that had been selected based on which object they remembered from the video. The researchers found that people who heard music while remembering the videos performed better than those who didn't hear any music. This suggests that listening to music while learning something new can help you store information more permanently.
In the other study, people viewed pictures of faces and learned words associated with each face. Some of the faces were paired with positive words, others with negative words. Later, the participants saw the faces without the words and tried to remember if each face was shown with a positive or negative word. Those who heard music while seeing the pictures did better at recalling which words were linked to which faces than those who didn't listen to anything while looking at the pictures. They also recalled more faces overall.
According to certain research, listening to music increases cognitive functions such as fluency (Thompson et al., 2006), working memory (Mammarella et al., 2007), and recognition memory (Ferreri et al., 2013). Various research on the influence of background music on cognitive capacities have revealed some gains. For example, individuals who listen to music during problem-solving tasks perform better than those who do not (Bowling et al., 1995). In addition, people who listen to music experience fewer lapses in attention than do others who are not musically stimulated (Knoblock et al., 1990). Finally, individuals who walk through malls or other public places while listening to music process information more quickly than those who do not (Pistikka, 1971; Wing et al., 1994).
It has been suggested that these effects are due to the involvement of the frontal cortex and the limbic system. The frontal cortex is responsible for higher cognitive functions such as judgment, planning, decision-making, awareness, and behavior control. The limbic system is involved in emotions such as joy, sadness, fear, and anger. Music activates both the frontal cortex and the limbic system, which in turn enhances various cognitive functions.
Research has shown that listening to music can also have negative effects on cognitive abilities. For example, individuals who listen to music with loud volumes suffer from greater auditory fatigue than those who listen to quieter tunes (Caclin et al., 2009).
In terms of music recalling a specific memory, listening to music activates areas of the brain that elicit emotions. There are two types of memories: implicit and explicit. They also appear to stay longer than explicit memories since they are frequently associated with an emotion.
It may aid in the retention of new knowledge. Listening to classical music seems to help older persons perform better on memory and processing skills, according to a 2014 research. These findings imply that certain genres of music can aid in remembering and other cognitive processes.
Music has been used for centuries as a means of education, entertainment, and therapy. It is believed that it can improve our ability to learn and remember by activating similar areas of the brain that are involved with these functions. Studies have shown that listening to music can have a positive effect on patients with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, helping them recall recent events or experiences that they would otherwise forget. Scientists are also exploring how music might be used to treat other health issues such as depression and anxiety.
The American Psychiatric Association defines music therapy as "the art and science of using music to benefit individuals who suffer from mental illnesses." Music therapists use musical activities to enhance psychological well-being and promote social interaction. They may play instruments themselves or lead group activities to create music together. In addition, they may work with clients to identify their feelings through discussion or improvisation and then select songs that match those emotions.
Clients may enjoy the benefits of music therapy for reasons that include: improving concentration and memory; reducing anxiety; facilitating sleep; providing physical comfort; and more.
The Theory: Studies have proven that music has a variety of beneficial impacts on the human body and brain. Music engages both the left and right brains at the same time, and activating both hemispheres can boost learning and memory. In addition, listening to music can reduce stress and anxiety, help with pain management and more.
The Practice: As students study for tests or work hard in class, listening to music can help release the tension of studying or writing papers. It can also help students stay focused on their work by playing relaxing sounds such as waterfalls or rainstorms when they need to concentrate but not be distracted by noise. Finally, listening to music while working out can help keep you motivated and excited about exercise. Different types of music have different effects on your body; if you want to learn more about how music affects your brain, check out our article on this topic!
The Conclusion: Music is a great tool for improving your health and increasing your chances of success in school and in life. By engaging the left and right sides of your brain together, listening to music can help you learn new things and remember important details from class. Furthermore, music can help relieve stress and anxiety, which are two factors that often prevent students from doing well academically. Last, listening to music can give you extra motivation when exercising or studying, so use it to your advantage!