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How music re-tunes our brain

What is the favourite part of favourite song?

Why do we sing or dance to music?

Why do we love the theme song to our favourite TV show?

Some of us even know the lyrics to F.R.I.E.N.D.S- “I’ll be there for you” by heart and some of us sing the melody of the Game Of Thrones theme song as if we wrote it – it’s in our memory forever!

Music has the ability to go deep and move us.  We have all been on the dance floor when “our jam” comes on and you just have to pick up the pace and move with the music.  You had no choice.  Contemplate that for a moment, why is that?  Why does it feel so good to match your movements to the beat?

Let’s take a look at why we remember our favourite song, why we tap our feet or why we turn to music when get emotional.

Music has involved more parts of the brain than any other function that people perform. The relationships between the elements of melody and harmony: in tones, intervals, chords, and scales or Tonality, for example, affect the Prefrontal Cortex, the Cerebellum and the Temporal Lobe.

This means that extremely processed information from various sensory modalities is brought here in a precise fashion to construct memory, perception, and diverse cognitive processes.

Temporal factors help make events predictable.  A predictable time produces expectation and this anticipation allows tapping to the beat (for example).  If there is no anticipation we are forever a millisecond behind, waiting to react to the sound.

In other words, we remember the tone of the song, even if we heard it just once (creating memories) with the help of these parts of the brain. We keep up with the next part of the song, a millisecond before, in anticipation of that part (we know what’s coming) because of these parts too!

In the case of Rhythm, left frontal cortex, left parietal cortex, and right cerebellum are all activated.  Motor areas are activated we tap our feet.

Motor control is the function by which humans and animals use their brain or cognitive processing to activate and coordinate the muscles and limbs involved in the performance of a motor skill.

So that’s why feel like dancing or tapping our feet. Brain activity and rhythm perception are carried out by these 3 parts!

Lastly let’s look at Lyrics. Areas like the Visual Cortex- (part of the cerebral cortex responsible for processing visual information), Wernicke’s area of the brain (responsible for helping us to understand language) and motors and Broca’s area (determining meaning of sentences or language comprehension) are all used when we read lyrics.

We contemplate on the words and get emotionally moved because that’s what music makes us feel with the addition of lyrics to a song.

The psychology of music makes it clear how profoundly important music association is to the success of individuals. Yes, we all listen, yes, we dance and yes, we sing. But do we really understand what happens to us behind the scene?

There’s more to why we like music than just singing along to a catchy beat or having fun at karaoke.  Dozens of receptors in our brain respond to different musical aspects like lyrics, tone, rhythm and determining the qualities we personally favour and do not favour. If we let music just go in one ear and out the other we can never learn how to interpret your brain’s response to music and benefits of listening to it.



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