Weekend Reading: Music and the Brain
We’re fascinated with music. We’re fascinated with how it makes us feel, how it helps us learn, and how it relaxes our minds. We’re not the only ones. These articles and programs on music on the mind stirred our imaginations this week. We hope you’ll check them out and take a moment to think about how powerful and important music is in our lives.
Do you like music? OK. Why? As a follow-up to last week’s post on the effects of music on learning, check out the New York Times opinion piece on why music makes our brains sing.
Earworms! Want to know why songs get stuck in your head? Scientists think your neural circuits are just stuck in a loop. What’s the song stuck in your head right now? And how are you going to get rid of it?
Nature? or Nurture? Worth pulling up and watching again is the PBS (Public Broadcasting System) television series The Music Instinct. Oliver Sachs’s speculations on whether the brain is naturally wired for music might send you running to your favorite neuroscientist for a good long question and answer session. (But…don’t you already have a bazillion anecdotes to prove it *is* naturally wired? We do….)
Calm Down, Brain Most of us don’t need scientists to tell us that some music gets us excited while other music calms us down. But yes, scientists have demonstrated that for calming people down, music can be cheaper and better for the body than medications. We’re not sure how much that’s going to help your child at your next dentist’s appointment, but oh it’s probably worth a try. Lullaby, anyone?
Have a musical weekend!