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fathippo's avatar

Is there a psychological reason for what music can do to us or something?

Asked by fathippo (746points) June 28th, 2009

When i hear music i love it is like entering a separate dimension, like a whole different cathartic world and it completely fills me and opens up so many amazing dark places or something (i dont know what i’m on about =P).
But I was wondering what is it about our brain that makes us feel something so massive or whatever from this? Cheers… =)

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12 Answers

Grisaille's avatar

Just as an aside: Anytime that we are affected by stimuli (external or otherwise) and have an emotional shift, there’s ALWAYS a psychological reason.

SirBailey's avatar

Certainly when the music reminds us of something, when we associate the music with events in our lives, that would be psychological.

stardust's avatar

I think it’s less of a brain thing and more of a spiritual experience. Music dances with the spirit, brings another dimension of ourselves forth

nikipedia's avatar

Music activates the parts of your brain believed to be responsible for experiencing pleasure or reward. Specifically:

”...listening to music strongly modulates activity in a network of mesolimbic structures involved in reward processing including the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA), as well as the hypothalamus and insula, which are thought to be involved in regulating autonomic and physiological responses to rewarding and emotional stimuli. Responses in the NAc and the VTA were strongly correlated pointing to an association between dopamine release and NAc response to music. Responses in the NAc and the hypothalamus were also strongly correlated across subjects, suggesting a mechanism by which listening to pleasant music evokes physiological reactions. Effective connectivity confirmed these findings, and showed significant VTA-mediated interaction of the NAc with the hypothalamus, insula, and orbitofrontal cortex. The enhanced functional and effective connectivity between brain regions mediating reward, autonomic, and cognitive processing provides insight into understanding why listening to music is one of the most rewarding and pleasurable human experiences.”


wundayatta's avatar

Sounds like there’s a physiological reason for what music does to us. Of course, these days, most psychology has physiological roots. So, my guess is that you’re really asking something different—like, can anyone explain more about how music affects us?

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

was going to answer, but Niki pretty much beat me to the spot.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

They say music is a language of its own, so I’m sure that has something to do with it. Look how powerful language is in general.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I watched a documentary. It was fascinating. What it showed was how the shapes our molecules form change shape according to sound. So they magnified some type of molecules, I believe water molecules so we could see the shapes they form. I think they are called water crystals when they form a shape. Anyhow when they played a different tone the molecules/crystal would form a different shape. It was amazing. If we take this information into account you can think about how listening to music actually restructures your inner workings.

Also when I was in grad. school for counseling I learned that music is very healing. It doesn’t matter what music it is either as long as you respond positively to it. What they told us is that after a heavy session we reccomend to our clients that they listen to some music on the way home, to help bring them out of all that heaviness.

mattbrowne's avatar

Neurobiology has just begun to grasp the effects of music on the human brain and body. What you describe as “entering a separate dimension” is a profound change in neurotransmitters and hormones “flushing” your systems. It’s very real and very beneficial for your. Music makes people smarter and increases their social skills. There are numerous studies and articles on the subject. Here’s just one:

Research is ongoing and we are in for more surprises.

Shegrin's avatar

The old adage is true. “Music soothes the savage breast.” That’s why Kool & The Gang=Party!!

Jeruba's avatar

It’s a line from a 17th-century play by William Congreve called The Mourning Bride:

“Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast,
To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak. ”

Shegrin's avatar

Well, at least I got the “breast” part right. Most people say beast.

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