Old age-music and the brain

Neurointerface + headphones = your happiness. Within the research, Basis Neuro did the testing of the choice of music by neuroactivity of the brain and is that you really want to listen now and not that it seems to you. If you ever flipped through the track list and couldn’t find a melody of your mood — this gadget is for you.

At the dawn of a human civilization music was considered as one of the noble arts, music gives rise to culture and it is closely connected with social and religious life of people. Modern research shows that music possesses a unique capability to recall bright memories, it causes various experiences. Music is rather difficult and precisely organized, and at the same time, different melodies can create different feelings — from sadness to euphoria that is indirect proof of a capability of music to cause emotions in people.

Modern methods of a functional tomography allow to establish connection between certain zones of the brain and their functional specialization in relation to musical capabilities. The major role of the right hemisphere of the brain in the process of detailing and handling of music is known.

Earlier in neurophysiological experiments the capability of pieces of music to change a mental condition and electric activity of the brain was revealed. In particular, such features as pitch, rhythm and pace modulate processes of excitement and braking in neural networks. As a rule, such processes are followed by emergence of the corresponding emotions in which providing a leading role is played by the frontal areas of the brain creating complex patterns of behavior. However brain mechanisms of forming of emotions still remain unknown in many respects.

Researchers from Polytechnic institute of Portugal studied electric activity of the brain (EEG) of the research’s participants (a group of 30 people) and the emotional conditions created when listening melodies of different musical genres. Eight pieces of music were used in the research to cause various emotions in participants: joy, sadness, fear and anger. After listening of the musical fragments each participant completed a survey in which it was necessary to match the listened melodies with experienced feelings.

In the course of the analysis of electric activity of the brain of participants there were revealed new facts showing the close connection of processes of activation of various areas of the right hemisphere, in particular, of frontal cortex, with negative emotions evoked by the pieces of music causing sadness and fear, whereas the activity of the frontal lobe of the left hemisphere correlated with positive emotions and feeling of anger in the central area of the brain. Such functional specialization of hemispheres of the brain can be explained with the polarity of emotional conditions and essentially various behavioural reactions (joy and anger, sadness and fear) formed by different hemispheres. The results received by the authors allow to clear more deeply mechanisms of influence of music on the brain that will give a chance to use it in therapy of such diseases as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and, perhaps, autism. On the other hand, on the basis of similar research, the musical neurointerfaces capable to fix emotional conditions when listening music are developed for forming individual and emotionally specific lists of songs which it is possible to have a high-quality rest, get in the mood or even feel sad to.

Article is published in the Neurophysiology Research journal.


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