For many years, it has been widely held that listening to music can be of great benefit to humans. In an article from the University of Central Florida’s Pegasus magazine, it’s reported that two of the school’s professors have been teaching a course there named “Music and the Brain” since 2006.
An Interesting College Course
The “Music and the Brain” course looks at the different ways that music affects human behavior, and is very popular with students. No matter what type of music it may be, most people experience positive emotions when they hear their favorite music.
Among the topics, the course explores are how music can help to improve motor and cognitive skills and reduce stress, depression symptoms, and pain. Professors Kiminobu Sugaya and Ayako Yonetani are the course’s teachers, and they point out that 12 parts of the human brain respond differently to music.
The frontal lobe is a primary part of the human brain, and the professors say that listening to music enhances its various functions. The Wernicke’s area of the brain helps to enjoy and analyze music, and the temporal lobe helps people to appreciate music.
Although it has long been believed that classical music promotes heightened brain activity, Professors Sugaya and Yonetani have learned that dementia patients respond positively when they hear their favorite music.
It was also discovered that unresponsive Alzheimer’s patients would become responsive, even to the point of singing and moving when they heard their favorite music played through headphones.
Benefits of Music
According to the Pegasus article, music can help to make people stronger, and better communicators, and can even boost the immune system.
Other benefits listed in the article include tapping into primal fears, evoking memories, promoting brain damage repair and perceptions of time.
In addition to studying music’s effects on humans, Professor Sugaya has performed similar studies on canaries. He discovered that the brain cells responsible for their singing abilities die every autumn, then in the spring, the neurons regenerate.
Because the canaries are able to relearn their songs when the spring comes, Professor Sugaya sees that as an indication of brain neurogenesis being increased by music.