Neuroscience of Music

The new issue of Scientific American has a neat article on The Neuroscience of Music, which summarizes some of the recent studies regarding how the brain processes music. In particular, I’m into the emotional response to music; I have a lot of analytical mental processes that run constantly in my head, which tends to de-emotionalize a lot of my responses to external stimuli. However, well-crafted and emotive music rises above the intellectual static and puts me into a profoundly different mood. So next time you’re talking to me and I’m making too much sense, stick an iPod in my ear and initiate a logic override.

Most people will find this article a bit dry (Scientific American is the kind of magazine that never seems to have enough gravy). For you hedonists out there, here’s the juiciest excerpt:

[…] Blood and Zatorre added a further clue to how music evokes pleasure. When they scanned the brains of musicians who had chills of euphoria when listening to music, they found that music activated some of the same reward systems that are stimulated by food, sex and addictive drugs.

Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll…cognitively, it’s all the same :-)

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