Researchers have studies that suggest what music can do for the human brain- it can alter brain structures in musicians, and enhance cognitive skills in children and adults alike. However, researchers are still learning to what extent music affects the brain. Here are four known ways that music affects the brain:
Bring Back Patients’ Lost Memories
With the power to bring back memories, researchers believe that music could be a treatment option for people with memory problems. One study found that music was able to bring back memories of people who sustained traumatic brain injuries. According to the study, “musical treatment, which involved playing hit songs from different periods in peoples’ lives, was better than an interview at eliciting past memories.”
Some studies suggest that musical training may turn people into better emotion detectors. One study found that the brains of musicians responded more quickly and accurately to a baby’s cry than the brains of non-musicians. This suggests musicians may be better at perceiving emotions even when music isn’t being played, the researchers said.
Blocking out Noise
As people age, the brain tends to become less and less capable of blocking out background noise. However, musicians are able to hear and understand sounds in a noisy environment better than others.
Learning the Language
When trying to learn a new language, or remember a current one, researchers found that “singing the phrases can help people learn the language better, compared with simply reading those phrases.”