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8 Amazing, Little-Known Ways Music Affects the Brain

Classical music

In one small study, stroke patients showed improved visual attention while listening to classical music. Silence resulted in lower scores.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

8 Amazing, Little-Known Ways Music Affects the Brain

8 Amazing, Little-Known Ways Music Affects the Brain

https://buffer.com/resources/music-and-the-brain

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Key Ideas

Happy/sad music

Our brains respond differently to happy or sad music.

One study revealed that participants interpreted a neutral expression as happy or sad to match the tone of the music they heard. 

Ambient noise can improve creativity

A moderate noise level is ideal to improve our creativity. It increases the processing difficulty which stimulates abstract processing, leading to higher creativity. 
High noise levels impair our creative thinking because we feel overwhelmed and struggle to process information properly.

Music and personality

Different genres correspond to our personality. For instance:

  • Blues and Jazz fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease
  • Classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introvert and at ease
  • Opera fans have high self-esteem, are creative and gentle
  • Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease

Music can distract our driving

Another study tested drivers while listening to their own choice of music, silence or “safe” music provided by the researchers. The results showed that drivers made more mistakes and drove more aggressively when listening to their own choice of music. Unfamiliar music resulted in safer driving.

Motor and reasoning skills

One study indicated that children who had three years or more of musical instrument training performed better in:

  • auditory discrimination abilities
  • fine motor skills
  • vocabulary
  • nonverbal reasoning skills

Classical music

In one small study, stroke patients showed improved visual attention while listening to classical music. Silence resulted in lower scores.

Music helps us exercise

An American researcher, Leonard Ayres, found that cyclists pedaled faster while listening to music than they did in silence. 

This is because music overrides the signals of fatigue while we are exercising, and our bodies do not realize we are tired.