The Effects of Music on the Brain

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³Music makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own. Under the influence of music I really seem to feel what I do not understand, to have powers which I cannot have.´ ~Tolstoy

The Power of Rhythm Rhythm is a patterned measure of time. We sense it in music as stressed and unstressed beats in a pattern that repeats itself over and over again. This patter of stressed and unstressed beats is used to either enhance or thwart the way we perceive things. Rhythm is also the glue that holds our very lives together. All of our systems, from the smallest to the largest, work under the influence of rhythm. Rhythm plays an important roll in the ability of our mind to organize billions of electrical impulses into clear, understandable mental pictures. When there is movement of any kind or size, microscopic or gigantic, rhythm controls that movement. When you change the rhythm of a movement you can also change the outcome of the movement. Rhythm then controls the way the message is sent along the neurological system, thereby controlling the way it is perceived. This means that rhythm can change our mental pictures or our perception of reality. A closer look at the way a message travels in the body will help us understand the use of rhythm. Communication within the body is electrochemical. For example, with the ear picks up sound waves it changes them to electrical impulses or messages. These electrical impulses then move from the neurons (in the ear) along an axon to a dendrite or dendrite spine to a synapse. This impulse or message crosses over the space to the synapse by a chemical movement to the next dendrite and continues moving electrically to the next neuron. This process is repeated over and over along the neurological system until the message reaches its destination. This process is repeated billions of times throughout our body in every minute of the day. The very fact that

000 people. increase in errors in the work force. the mental picture is altered or not clear. It is as if a switch is thrown in the mind. (Satan¶s Music Exposed. But 20. rebellion and even revolution. gouged and assaulted. of this book Battle for the Mind Dr. depression. pg 173) . decreased decision making ability. hyperactivity. July 1973. and lack of respect for authority. the most common one is temporarily impaired judgement and heightened suggestibility. a leading scientific authority on the human nervous system. William Sargent. Consider the following statements: In Vancouver. In fact. were rocking the whole building. (Satan¶s Music Exposed. Rhythm induced stress shows up in many ways. One doctor said that ³in my practice I have found that the academic records of many small children improve considerably after they stop listening to rock music while studying. and certain rates of rhythm can build up recordable abnormalities of brain function and explosive states of tension sufficient enough to produce convulsive fits in predisposed subjects. ³Electrical recordings of the human brain show that it is particularly sensitive to the rhythmic stimulation by percussion and bright light among other things.impulses move. arms around each other«the crowd seemed hypnotized in thrall. if nothing stronger. writes. After this switching takes place the body begins to crave this unnatural beat or rhythm over a natural one. places them under the control of rhythm. like many drugs. 100 people were stomped upon. It was part of a mass frenzy. The body is put under stress and problems begin to appear. L. and 131. Repeated exposure to it causes one to seek it. the body actually chooses that which is destructive over that which is constructive. emotional pressures. during a 30 minute Beatles performance. most of them high on marijuana. standing on their seats.´ Unnatural rhythm. L. ³After an hour or so.´ When the mind and body are subjected to rhythms that abide not the law. It is as if the body can no longer distinguish between what is beneficial and what is harmful. that are not in harmony with the bodys natural rhythm. even I felt drugged.´ (Beatles. nearly 1000 were injured at a rock concert. including decreased performance. 1960) Here is what a person who attended a rock concert said. can become addictive.´ (Readers Digest. Research is beginning to show that this is the case. swaying. disorganized behavior. Hart) ³Our music is capable of causing emotional instability. Hart) In Melbourne. On pages 90. Of the results caused by such disturbances.

saying. Lyrics: They promote drugs. turns . However unnatural rhythms are almost always accompanied by other elements that are easily recognized. James Girard in The Wanderer.A popular rock singer said this about their music. The sound destroyed you. smashed and crunched and hammered like some amazing stampede. air pressure or air movement. ³It was nothing but beat. ³Rock¶n roll has always been sexual.. January 9. described the heavy emphasis on rhythm in his group¶s music. Their sound is very heavy on the bass.´ wrote Boston psychologist Dr. crime. You drowned in noise. lead singer for the Rolling Stones. emotional and physical operations of the organism if it is to function properly. Mick Jagger. then its for you. primitive sounds. This is because. Style: The delivery of the singer or group is offensive to anyone who seeks a clean and fulfilling life.´ (Entertainment Tonight. In the movie Back to the Future. Body movement: The movement is vulgar and suggestive. junk yards. The words were lost and the song was lost. becomes potentially dangerous. Micheal J. and rebellion. Music video: The settings for the performers are often in back alleys. It has teeth. using the same cords over and over. and you had no defense left. You were only left with the chaos. and much modern music.´ ³There must be a condition of harmony or perfect balance. 1982) In Rock From the Beginning. Music is repetitive. That¶s why I like it«. to maintain a sense of well being and integration. It is precisely at this point that rock and roll. Visual effects: The attire of the performers is trashy. The performance is geared to grasp your senses and create a high. Following are some of the elements that accompany unnatural rhythms. The Power of Volume Volume is nothing more than an invisible source of energy. both physically and emotionally. abandoned buildings. The vocals include yelling. ³between the mental. with a throbbing heavy beat.if you like having your brains blown out and pushed up against a wall. beautiful anarchy. scanty. Rock¶n roll has always been violent. sex. or in places where only the physical senses are excited. or excessive in the style of costume. a 1969 book by Nik Cohn. It will scratch your face off.´ It would be impractical to explain through written word the difference between natural and unnatural rhythms. it is essential that man is not subjected too much to any rhythms not in accord with his natural body rhythms. raped you regardless. Fox walks into a room.

it is that no neuron is healthier than the capillary that supplies it. ³Lastly. Our thinking and actions are changed and under a prolonged exposure to loud music. Second. When susceptible individuals are exposed to loud sound over a period of time.´ How does volume effect blood supply? The blood vessels undergo a narrowing of caliber in the presence of loud sound. loud music can cause a form of schizophrenia. including the mind. professor of medicine at UCLA and an expert on brain growth. including interference with vision. This narrowing decreases the flow of blood to the different parts of the body. certain stomach functions are disrupted and an increase of hydrochloric acid is released.These impacts can range from depressions noted among females during the menstrual period to actual presence in the brain of chemicals normally found in schizophrenia and psychosis. gave an emotional stability test to 240 teenagers while they listened to music. In the words of Dr. Martin Polon of UCLA writes. Martin Polo. the director of Audio Visual Services at UCLA and noise consultant for the aerospace industry and related technologies writes. We have a very strong feeling that in the capillary supply system is the story of the maintenance or slow decline of the brain. loud volume slows down our ability to memorize and do other brain functions by constricting the flow of blood to the brain. There are a number of other interesting reaction to the presence of high level sound which involve the brain. ³If there is a bottom line. A person studying under the influence of loud music has a decrease in the amount of blood flowing to the brain. who was unaware of how it was given. When music is too loud. ³The continuing exposure to high energy sound creates a stress reaction in the body that significantly involves the gastrointestinal system. investigating the effects of loud music. examined the results and determined that the test had been given in a mental institution. the presence of continued exposure to high level sound can trigger psychopathological impacts on individuals«. A psychologist. When a person is exposed to high level sound. The volume is so loud that the speakers cause him to fly across the room. loud music can cause ulcers. Consider the following three types of damage that takes place in our bodies under exposure to loud volume. causing ulceration of the stomach. a moral apathy pervades.on the stereo and is thrown against the far wall. a chemical is formed in the brain that is normally found in schizophrenia patients in mental institutions. First. This makes it more difficult to memorize and to understand their studies. A music therapist. Certain stomach functions are disrupted by abnormal contractions of the abdominal .´ Third. Arnold Scheivel. it blocks out our other senses and we lose tough with reality.

Recurring activation of this syndrome will lead to peptic ulceration in susceptible individuals. Penn. New York: Arlington House. the word lists were collected.. Richard M.. 1982 Diamond. After the two minutes were up. Lex. 1979 Hart. Each group consisted of approximately 30 freshman or sophomore level psychology students.1981 Hutchinson. 1970 Oliphant. Essay. The Closing of the American MIND.´ New York: Simon & Schuster. California: Embryo Books. L. Behavioral Kinesiology. The students were all given a memory test. . Professor at Ricks College: Rexburg.. 1987 De Azevedo.. There were four groups in this study. BIBLIOGRAPHY Bloom. Salem Kirban. The group that tested with music listened to \"Sad ABSTRACT The purpose of this experiment was to see if studying or testing with music affected scores on a memory test. Music and its Effects. The third group had no music while studying but music while testing.. CLAIR DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY Missouri Western State University Sponsored by: BRIAN CRONK (cronk@missouriwestern. The groups that had music while studying listened to the song \"Sad Eyes\" by Enrique Iglesias. ST. E.area. The Riot Makers. and the fourth group had no music during both. New York: Ballantine Books.. 1984 THE EFFECTS OF MUSIC DURING APPREHENSION ON MEMORY PERFORMANCE ANGELA M. Inc. Pop Music and Morality. Mega Brain. Idaho Restak. Bob. Several factors.. and increased infusion of hydrochloric acid causing dyspepsia. Another had music while studying and no music while testing. which consisted of a list of 15 words and studied it for two minutes. 1987 Methvin. New York: Harper & Row. M. New York: Bantam Books.\" A between subjects factorial ANOVA was calculated comparing the memory test scores for subjects who had music during recall or studying. Satan¶s Music Exposed. No significant results were found. such as the type of test given and the music type.D. the test was administered. The Brain. One group had music while studying and testing. A. may have contributed to these insignificant results. At the end of the class period. John M.

studying should be done with the same cues present as during testing. They consisted of both males and . Therefore. teachers are doing all they can to incorporate technology into their teaching. Again showing that music while studying is more damaging than helpful on test performance. the purpose of this experiment is to determine if listening to music during learning has any effect on testing performance. and this include school systems. Many students feel that studying with music helps. Everyone is trying to keep up and have cutting edge equipment. 1970) the most effective retrieval cues at the time of recall are cues that contain information that was processed at the time the to-be-remembered material was studied. It will also exhibit if there is a correlation between studying with environmental cues and having the same cues present during recall. Therefore. McFarland and Hanna (1990) found that music inhibited initial learning in a tactual-spatial task. This brings up the issue of whether or not studying with music effects test performance. music does more harm than good when studying. thus helping their test performance. Instructors see this as a way to relax students and reduce anxiety. Research seems to show that music during studying inhibits learning. METHOD PARTICIPANTS The participants used for this study were freshman and sophomore level students from psychology courses at Missouri Western State College. (Thompson & Tulving.INTRODUCTION With the beginning of the 21st century. it should be played during studying also. that states to get maximal scores on a test. This includes playing music during tests. technology is increasing at an amazing rate. It will show how the encoding specificity principle relates to music being present during studying. and Ky (1993) discovered that performance on abstract/spatial reasoning tests improved after the participants listened to Mozart as opposed to a relaxation tape or silence. Is this true even if there is music present during testing? This experiment will show if there is a relationship between music present during studying and test scores. According to the encoding specificity principle of memory. With technology now being such a dominant factor in classrooms. McFarland and Kennison (1987) assume through their studies that the right hemisphere of the brain processes music. Shay. according to their study. There is research though. Therefore. Raushcher. for the music to help the student during testing. They found that participants require greater effort to successfully learn a task with the presence of music.

122) = . did show that there could be a possible correlation.219.05). To two groups. The other group took the test without music playing. The song ³Sad Eyes´ by Enrique Iglesias was the music listened to while studying and testing. p > . I first explained the procedure to the participants.females and the ages varied. However. After the subjects were finished with the tests. I administered the test to see how many of the words were recalled. The results from the 2 x 2 between subjects factorial ANOVA test showed that there was no significant correlation between music during studying or testing and memory test scores. p > . The main effect for recall with music was also not significant (F(1. I will collected the tests and left the classroom.122) = 1. I collected them. one tested with music. All four groups had the same lists and studied them for two minutes. the interaction was also not significant (F(1. I then gave out the memorization word lists. The other two groups studied without any music playing. it appears that neither studying nor recall with or without music has any effect on memory test scores. Thus. resulting in a total of approximately 120 in the entire study. took the test with the same song playing. RESULTS A 2 (recall) x 2 (study) between subjects factorial ANOVA was calculated comparing the memory test scores for subjects who had music during recall or studying. it did support the hypothesis. I played the song ³Sad Eyes´ while the participants were studying. these findings are consistent with the hypothesis. Out of the two groups who studied without music. Finally. I then came back into the classroom towards the end of the class period. . Although. There were approximately 30 participants in each of the four groups. It was found that the group that did not study or test with music had the best scores on the memory test. MATERIALS A word list memorization test was used in this study. PROCEDURE When conducting this experiment.587.35. The main effect for studying with music was nott significant (F(1. there were no significant results found. one of the groups who studied with music. p > . the numbers from the test. while not significant. While testing. The results of this experiment varied from the findings of previous studies which showed that music does more harm than good when studying.122) = . and one tested without music. After the given amount of time was up.05).05). DISCUSSION While this study did not find any significant results. The group that studied and tested with music had the next highest scores.

Listening to classical music or any other type could result in different findings. Also. K. (1970). R. E. & Hanna. R. a variety of music is listened to.. The music played was slow music with words. (1990). Associative encoding and retrieval: Weak and strong cues. Rausher.L. D. 115. Asymmetrical effects of music upon spatialsequential learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology. 611. McFarland. G. the type of music played could have affected the results. When students study. R. As stated before. the type of test could be changed. The type of music could also be changed. 255-262. 365.. & Ky.. F. October). & Tulving. Another alteration could be having one group study with music with words and another group study with music without words..F. Nature. Journal of General Psychology. many alterations could be made.M.N (1993.A.The limitations involved in this study could include the test that was given. REFERENCES McFarland. If this experiment was to be repeated. 117. & Kennison.. Music and spatial task performance. Music during learning of a tactual-spatial task affects later response generalization. 86. the results would have been different. 411-424. (1987). Thompson.A.H. An actual test from the teacher could be used. . Maybe if the test had been an actual test. K. Journal of General Psychology. 263-272. Shaw.

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