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DesireeRodriguez
Ms.RudolfDib
English12
23February2016
MusicandtheBrain
Whenpeoplehearmusic,theirbrainsareaffected.Manypeoplethinkthatonly
musiciansbrainsareaffectedbecausethosepeoplehavemusicknowledgeorpeoplethinkthat
theirbrainsarejusthearingmusicandthatsit.Afactisthateverypersonsbrainisaffectedjust
byhearingmusic.Musiccanaffectthebraininmanydifferentwayswhichcanchangemany
dailyroutinesinlife.Musiciansareoneoftheverywellknownexamplesofhowmusicaffects
differentpartsofthebrain.Whentherightsideofthebrainisworkingduetomusic,whether
someonehasmusicknowledgeornot,therearebenefitstothatsideofthebrainbeingactivated.
Thefirstexampleofhowthebrainisaffectediswhenitaffectsthememory,language
acquisition,andexecutivefunctionofmusicians.Justascollinssaid,Thesedifferencescovered
avarietyofattributes.Participantsclassifiedasmusicianswerefoundtohaveheightened
capacitiesinmultipleareasofthebrain,includingmemory,languageacquisitionandsyntax,
executivefunction,andbrainplasticity,

(Collins,3),anexperimentdoneshowedagreatamount
ofthebrainaffected.Collinssaid,Thesedifferencessparkedanumberofstudiesthatattempted
toidentifyhowandwhyparticipantsclassedasmusiciansdisplayedsignificantdifferencesin
theirbrainfunctionandstructuretononmusicians,(Collins,3).Thisledtoevenmore
experimentstobedonetoshowhowandwhytheseeffectshappened,especiallysinceitwasnot
onlyonepartofthebrainthatgetsaffected.Musicalsoaffectsthewaythebrainprocessand

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developsinformation.ResearcherRobertZatorresaid,Eminentneuroscienceresearcherwrote
that"musicinvolvesatantalizingmixofpracticallyeveryhumancognitivefunction,"and
becauseofthismusicprovidesuniqueinsightsintohowthebraindevelopsandprocesses
information.(Collins,2).Cognitivefunctionisbasicallyhowpeopleprocessinformation,
memoryandetc.ResearcherRobertZatorreissayingthatsincemusicinvolvespeopletouse
reasoningandmemorization(andotherbrainfunctions)toplaymusic,thebrainchangesitsway
ofprocessinginformation,reasoning,andanyothercognitivefunctioninabeneficialway.For
musicians,musichasaffectedtheirmemory,languageacquisition,executivefunction,syntax,
andbrainplasticity.Therewasabigdifferenceinhowmusiciansandnonmusiciansbrainshave
worked.Allthesefactorsaffectthebrainthereforeleadingthebraintoprocessinformation
differentlybutinagoodwaybecauseitisabenefittoit.Whenamusicianhearsmusic,their
brainhearsitdifferentlythaninanonmusicianperson.Thesepeopleareabletomemorizeand
processinformationbetterandmoreefficientlybecausetheirbrainhasbeenaffectedinthose
areaswhereitcanprocessinformation.
Asecondexampleofhowthebraingetsaffectedbymusicispeoplesemotion.Oneof
theemotionsthatmusicaffectsissadnessbecauseitthenevokesotherpleasantemotions(brain
activity).KawakamiandKatahiraexaminedemotionalresponseswhileparticipantslistenedto
musicalexcerpts(feltemotion),andfoundthatsadmusicinducednotonlysadnessbutalso
positiveemotionssuchasnostalgiaandpeacefulness,(KawakamiandKatahira,2).Thisshows
thatatestwasspecificallydonelisteningtosadmusictoseewhatotherkindofemotionswere
shownduetothis.Itwasfoundthatthereispositiveemotionsinanykindofmusicwhetheritis
sadorhappymusic.Addingtothis,KatahiraandKawakamisaid,Besidesthendingthattrait

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empathyisassociatedwithlikingsadmusic,traitempathysuchasFShasbeenfoundtoaect
theintensityofemotionalresponsestosadmusic,whichinturnisanimportantpredictorof
musicpreference.(KawakamiandKatahira,2).Assaidinthequote,theemotionsportrayedare
duetoempathy.Empathyisapartofthebrainthatgetsaffectedaswell.AsKawakamiand
Katahirasaidthat,selectedlittleknownpiecesasmusicalstimulibecauseindividualsoften
associateaparticularmemoryoreventwithwellknownmusic.Iftheparticipantsknewthe
musicusedinourexperiment,somelistenersmighthaveanemotionalresponserelatedtothat
particularmemoryorevent.Weaimedtoinvestigatetheemotionalexperienceinducedpurelyby
music.Therefore,weusedtwopiecesthatwerereportedasunfamiliarbyalltheparticipantsin
thepreviousstudy,(KawakamiandKatahira,2),thereisalsopositiveemotionsbecausewhen
peoplehearmusic,itmakesthemthinkofamemorythattheylivedthereforeactivatingthe
empathypartofthebrain.Thisshowshowmusicaffectspeoplesemotionsbecauseitreminds
themofamemorythattheylived.Specifically,thestimuli(empathy)inthebrainaffectshow
peoplerespondtoasongandhowtheyfeelaboutwhilehearingit.Musiccanalsoaffect
emotionsbecauseofthebrain.Italsoaffectsthepersonsmemoryatthesametime.
Anotherexampleofmusicaffectingthebrainisthatitlikeadrug.Musicislikeadrugto
thebrainbecauseitisapleasuretopeoplewholistentomusiceveryday.AsCharlesstated,
Whenyouturnupyourfavoritejam,yourbraingoesintooverdrive:Itshootsoffdopamine,the
samefeelgoodchemicalwereleasewhensomethinghitsoursweetspot,likeadeliciousmealor
spendingtimewithsomeonewelove,(Charles,1).Thisexplainsthatwhenpeoplehearmusic,
ithitstheirpleasurespotjustlikeadrugwould.Itthenwouldreleasedopaminewhichcausesthe
persontofeelgoodjustasifsomeonewaseatingtheirfavoritecandy.Anotherfactsaidabout

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thisiswhenCharlessaid,Andhere'swhatkeepsustuningin:Thedopaminewerelease
happenstobethesamechemicalinvolvedinaddiction,whichexplainstheeuphoriaandcraving
wefeelwhenwehearabelovedsong,(Charles.1).Thedopaminereleaseisthecausewhy
peoplewanttokeephearingmusicoverandoveragain.Sometimespeoplewillshowemotion
throughtearsandjoy.Thisisactuallybiologicalbecause,Oncemusicactivatesourpleasure
center,wecangetchills,feelshortofbreathorbemovedtotears.Turnsout,thosereactions
aren'tjusthappenstancethey'rebiological,(Charles,1).Musicaffectsthepleasurespotin
peoplesbrainsbecauseitreleasesdopamine.Dopamineisreleasedwheneversomeoneis
addictedtosomething.Itmakespeoplewantmoreandmore.Thisisanotherwayhowmusic
affectsthebrain.Musicaffectsthebrainbymakingpeoplewanttolistentoitoverandover
againbecauseofthepleasurespotandthatisfoundinthebrain.
Anotherwayinwhichthebrainisaffectedisthroughthememoryspot.Musicaffectsthe
brainbecauseitstimulatesthedevelopmentofcognitiveskills.Inotherwords,itistheplace
wherethebrainprocessinformationandreason.HilleandSchupparguethatmusicinduces
brainreactionsthatstimulatethedevelopmentofcognitiveskills,(HilleandSchupp,2).Music
isoneofthegreatwaysinwhichitaffectscognitiveskillswhicharethememoryandhow
informationisprocessed(asmentionedbefore).Thebeneficialthingaboutthisisthatitcan
improveschoolgradesjustasitimprovescognitiveskills.BothHilleandSchuppsaid,
Moreover,bothcognitiveskillsandschoolgradesmaybeimprovedthroughtheinfluenceof
musiceducationonpersonalitytraitssuchasconscientiousness,openness,andperceived
control,(HilleandSchupp,2).AnotherbeneficialthingthatHilleandSchuppsayis,In
addition,whencarriedoutinagroup,musiceducationcanpromotethedevelopmentofsocial

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skillsaswellasthesenseofbelongingtoagroup,(HilleandSchupp,2).Thismeansthatmusic
canalsoimprovesocialskills(anothercognitiveskill)whichisbeneficialtosomeoneinsomany
ways.Thisisanotherwaymusicaffectsthebrain,Musicaffectsthewaythebrainprocess
informationandhowpeoplerelatetosomething.Itisabenefitthatcanhelppeopleremember
thingsbetterandtousethoseskillsinanywaythatitbenefitsthem.Thisisanotherwayhow
musicaffectsthebrainandthemanybenefitsofcognitiveskills.
Anotherwaythebraingetsaffectedbymusiciswhensomeoneplaysmusic(an
instrumentormorethanoneinstrument).Playingmusicincludestheinvolvementecrossmodal
orchestrationofauditory,visual,somatomotor,andcognitiveprocesses(Burunat,1).AsBurunat
stated,Earlymusicaltraininghasbeenshowntocorrelatewithstrongerauditorycortical
representationsofpianovs.puretonesinpianists,supportedbyanatomicalenlargementsofthe
Heschlsgyrus,(Burunat,2).Thisquoteissayingisthatthesomatosensoryisstrongeron
musicianthanonnonmusiciansbecauseitismorenoticeableinmusiciansthannonmusicians.
Thesomatosensoryasan

areainthebrainthatdetectsandinterpretsinformationontouch,
temperature,pain,andpressureandallowspeopletoperceivethesize,shape,andthetextureof
anobjectthroughtouchingobjects.Therefore,touchingandplayinganinstrumentisthereason
whyitaffectsthesomatosensoryinthebrain.Forauditoryandvisualskills,musicaltraining
drivesanincreaseingreymatterforareasinvolvedinmotor,auditory,andvisuospatial
processing,(
Burunat,2
).Inotherwords,playingmusicandhavingmusicknowledgeworksthe
sideofthebrainthatisnotcommonlyworkedoutbecausethatsidecanbeusedforadifferent
kindofactivity(fornonmusicians,thereasanareaofthebrainthatisgreybecauseitisnotused
unlesssomeoneknowsmusicorhasmusicknowledge).Italsogivesmusiciansabetterwayto

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memorizethingsbecausemusiciansvisualmemoryisimproved.Thisshowsthatifsomeonehas
musicknowledge,itaffectsthegreyareasofthebrainanditisverynoticeablewithmusicians.
Thisisanotherwaythatthebrainisaffectedbymusic.
Anotherexampleofhowmusicaffectsthebrainisinchildrenandtheiracademics.
Lockersaidthatlearninghowtoplayaninstrumentisawaythatthebraindevelops(Locker,1).
Lockeralsosays,
Sciencehasshownthatwhenchildrenlearntoplaymusic,theirbrainsbegin
tohearandprocesssoundsthattheycouldntotherwisehear.Thishelpsthemdevelop
neurophysiologicaldistinctionbetweencertainsoundsthatcanaidinliteracy,whichcan
translateintoimprovedacademicresultsforkids,(Locker,2).Thereasonwhyitcanhelp
childrenacademicallyinthefutureisbecauseitimprovestheneuralprocessingandhearing
musicrewiresthebrain(Locker,5).Neuralprocessingisanotherwayofsayinghowthebrain
workstoprocessinformation.Sincemusicaffectsthewaythebrainworks,thereiscognitive
benefitsbecauseofthatwhichiswhyitisgoodforthechildrensacademicfuturebecausethe
kidswillbeabletoprocessinformationbetterandhaveabettermemoryofthings(cognitive
skillsarehowpeopleprocessinformation,memory,andetc.)(Locker,3).Sincemusicaffects
neuralprocessing,itisaffectingthepartofthebrainthatprocessesinformation.Thiscanalso
affectdailyroutinesbecauseeverydaypeopleprocessinformation.Thisshowsoneofmany
waysofhowmusicaffectsthebrainandthebenefitsofit.
Anotherwaythatmusicaffectsthebrainistheauditoryareaofthebrain.Fujiokasaid,
Inparticular,theobligatoryauditorycorticalresponsetoacousticstimulation,termedthe
auditoryevokedpotential(AEP)orauditoryevokedmagneticfield(AEF),givesimportant
informationaboutwhenandwherethesoundisprocessed,(Fujioka,2).Thisexplainsthatwhen

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thebrainhearsmusic,theauditoryareaofthebraincandetecthowmusicisbeingherd.Fujioka
alsosaid,Thisimpliesthatprocessingmusicalsoundsmightalsomaturedifferentlyfrom
processingnonmusicalsoundandthatthematurationaltrajectorycanbeaffectedbyintensive
musicalexperience,(Fujioka).Thissaysthatnonmusicianshearmusicdifferentlythan
musiciansdo.Specifically,musicianshavealotofmusicalknowledgewhichmeansthatthe
brainprocesseshowthemusicsounds.AsFujiokastated,Endogenousevokedresponses
relatedtotheautomaticauditoryprocessinghavebeenshowntobeenhancedinmusicianswhen
thestimuliinvolveprocessingofmelodic,harmonicortemporalstructure,(Fujioka,2).Thisis
sayingthatwhentheauditoryareaofthebrainisprocessingthesoundofthemusic,thatareacan
detectthemelodyofthesound,theharmonic,andthetemporalstructure.Thisshowsthatmusic
affectstheauditorypartofthebrainbecausethebraincandetectthechangesinthesoundofthe
music.Thisisanotherwayofhowmusicaffectsthebrain.
Adifferentwayinwhichmusicaffectsthebrainisthatitstartsaffectingpeopleatan
infantage.Musicaffectsthebrainsofinfantsaswell.AsBegleymentioned,Inonetest,Trehub
variesthepitch,tempoandmelodiccontourofmusic,andfindsthatbabiescandetectchangesin
allthree,(Begley,1).Thisshowsthatevenatacouplemonthsold,musicaffectsthebrain
becauseinfantsareabletodetectchangeintheirbrains.Also,babiesareabletodetectspecific
thingsaboutthemusicthatisheard.Forexample,Theinfantsrecognizethatamelodywhose
pitchortempohaschangedisthesamemelody,forinstance,suggestingthattheyhavea
rudimentaryknowledgeofmusic'scomponents,(Begley,1).Rudimentaryiswhensomeonehas
basicknowledgeaboutsomething.Thereforetheinfantsknowwhenamelodyhaschangedits
beatortempobecauseofthosebasicknowledge.AnotherthingthatBegleysaidwasthatThe

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mostcontroversialfindingaboutthemusicalmindisthatlearningmusiccanhelpchildrendo
betteratmath,(Begley,3)Thisissomethingthatcanbeverybeneficialtosomeoneinthe
future.Itdoesnotspecificallyhavetobemaththattheseinfants/babiesgetbetterat,butitis
mostlikelythesubjectthatthoseinfantswouldbebetterat.Eveninfantsbrainsareaffected
oncetheirbrainshearmusic.Lateronwheninfantsgrowup,oneofthebenefitsofmusic
affectingthebrainisthatithelpspeopleinmathalot.Thisisanothersimplewayinwhichmusic
affectsthebrain.
Musicaffectsthebrainscognitiveskillsandmotorskills(assaidbefore)whichleadsto
abeneficialthingformanypeople.Thatbeneficialthingismusictherapyformanypatients.As
Schiaviosaid,Additionally,otherfindingshaveconfirmedthebenefitsofmusicsupported
therapyinmotorrehabilitation:first,studieswithstrokepatientsrevealedsignificantbehavioral
improvementsinavarietyoftasksrelatedtofinemotorskillsaccompaniedbyimpressive
reorganizationofcorticalsensorimotornetworks,(Schiavio,2).Thisissayingthatsincemusic
affectsthecontractionofmusclesandthemovementofthebones,ithelpspatientsbeableto
movethebonesandmusclesduringtherapy.Itisespeciallyhelpfultopeoplewhohavehad
strokesandneedmusictherapytohelpthepatientsbeabletomovewhicheverpartofthebody
thatwasaffectedbythestroke(mostofthetimestrokesappeartoparalyzeonesideofthebody
orimpactapartofthebodyinwhichthepersoncannotmovethatpart).Anotherthingthat
Schiaviostatedwas,second,researchwithParkinsonspatientshasshownthatentertainment
witharhythmicallyrichauditoryfeedbackmayalleviateParkinsoniangaitbyincreasingthe
excitabilityofspinalmotorneuronsviathereticulospinalpathway,therebyreducingtheamount
oftimerequiredforthemusclestorespondtoagivenmotorcommand,(Schiavio,2).This

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explainsthatwhenpatientswithParkinson'shearmusic,thebrainrespondstotherhythmofthe
music.Whenthebrainhearsthechangeinrhythm,itexcitesthespinalmotorneuronswhich
helpsParkinson'spatientstobeabletomovethemusclesandthebonesinthebody.Anotherfact
isthatifthemusicisusedintherapytohelppatients,itcanhelpwithpain,Increasingly,the
clinicaladoptionofmusicbasedparadigmsseemstooffernotonlyavalidnonpharmacological
toolforinterventionindiversecontexts[includingforexamplepaintreatment]butalso
innovativeinsightsintotheanatomyandphysiologyofthebrain,(Schiavio,2).Whatthisis
sayingisthatsincethebrainisaffectedbymusic,itaffectsthepartofthebrainthatfeelspain.
Sinceitaffectsthatarea,therehavebeenexperimentsthatshowthattheprocessisphysiological
(howthingswork)andanatomical(thestructureofthings).Thisshowsthattherearebeneficial
thingsthathelppeoplewhenthebrainhearsmusic.Musicaffectsareasinthebrainthatcanhelp
manypeoplelikepatientswhohaveParkinson'sorwhohavesufferedsomethinglikeastroke.
Thisisoneofthebenefitswhenthebrainisaffectedbymusic.
Anotherbenefittomusicaffectingthebrainisthatithelpspatientswhohavea
neurologicalillnessorinjury.Sincemusicaffectscognitiveskills,Cognitiverehabilitation(CR)
hasbecomeaviableforcetohelpimprovethecognitivefunctioningofpersonswithneurologic
illnessesandinjuries,(Thaut,1).Sincecognitiveskillsisanareaofthebrain,itmakessense
thatitcanhelppatientswithneurologicalillnessbecauseitcanaffectthebrainscognitiveskills
andmusictherapycanhelpbringbackthecognitiveskillstothepatients.Thautalsosaid,In
paralleltothegrowthofCR,neurologicmusictherapy(NMT)hasemergedasadiscipline
definedasthetherapeuticapplicationofmusictocognitive,sensory,andmotordysfunctions
duetoneurologicdiseaseofthehumannervoussystem,(Thaut,1).Thisexplainsthatmusic

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therapycannotonlyhelppatientswithcognitiveskills,butitcanalsohelpwithsensoryand
motorfunctions.Itcanhelpwiththefunctionsbecauseanotherneurologicillnesscanaffect
thoseareasinthebrain.Oneofthewaysthatmusictherapyhelpsneurologicallyillpatientsis
that,InNMT,thetherapeuticmechanismsinmusicarebasedonanunderstandingofmusicasa
languageofcognitionandperceptionthatstimulatesphysiologicallycomplexcognitive,
affective,andsensorimotorprocessesthataregeneralizableandtransferabletononmusicalbrain
andbehaviorfunction,(Thaut,1).Whatthissaysisthatwhenthepatientshearmusic,thebrain
stimulatescertainbrainareasthathelptheunderstandingofmusicintheneurologicalillpatients.
Musicaffectingthebrainhasanotherbenefittohelpingneurologicalpatients.Thisisanother
wayhowmusicaffectsthebrainandthebenefitstoitforpeople.
Toconclude,whethersomeoneisamusicianornot,musicaffectsthebraininmany
ways.Whetheritislanguageacquisition,memory,auditorycontext,orcognitiveskills,itcan
affectpeopleinpositiveways.Justasmentionedbefore,thebrainisaffectedbymusiconcethe
othersideofit(theleftside),whethersomeonelearnsmusicorhasanymusicknowledge,starts
todevelopthecognitiveskillswhichhelpsapersoninapositivewayinthedailyroutineof
everydaylife.Also,itisverybeneficialtothosewhoaresickaswell.Musichasbeneficial
effectsonthebrainwhethersomeoneisamusicianornot.Itcanimprovemanyareasofthe
brain.Eventhesmallestthingsthatapersonmightnotnotice.Musichasmanywayinwhichit
canimproveandhelpaperson.Peopleshouldbeawareofthesituationandshouldlookoutfor
whatchangeshappenoncethebrainhasbeenexposedtomusicoranymusicalsounds.Even
withinfantsandlittlekidsbecausethebrainscandevelopatanearlyage,asmentionedbefore.
Musicisoneofthewaysinwhichthebraincandevelopandimprovecognitiveskills.

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