6 Surprising Effects of Music on the Brain [LIST]

The scientific low-down on why pumping the tunes really does spread good vibes.

Jan 16, 2015

Every time we listen to music, amazing neurological processes are taking place behind the scenes. Research from around the world has revealed a wide range of positive effects that music has on the brain - from increased creativity and decision making to better comprehension and more positive feelings.
And that’s not all - different types of music can affect us in different ways. Get your iPod ready, and read on to find out how.

1. HAPPY MUSIC MAKES US SEE PEOPLE IN A MORE POSITIVE LIGHT

Research from the University of London’s Department of Psychology found that listening to happy music can make us see people’s faces in a positive light - even if they’re wearing a blank facial expression.

Woman listens to music on smartphone

Pumping the positive tunes (Shutterstock)

2. CALM TUNES ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY

Ambient music increases abstract processes in the brain, which are responsible for creative thinking - this according to research from the University of Chicago.

Woman playing piano

Soothing music will get you thinking (Shutterstock)

3. NEW MUSIC IMPROVES DRIVING SKILLS

According to research at Ben Gurion University, listening to new music - tunes that we haven’t heard before - can make us safer drivers.

Get your boogie on for safe driving (Shutterstock)

4. LEARNING AN INSTRUMENT IMPROVES MOTOR AND COGNITIVE FUNCTION

Children who learn to play an instrument are likely to display higher language and motor skills, according to a University of St. Andrews study.

A baby plays with a piano

Even babies can benefit from music (Shutterstock)

5. CLASSICAL MUSIC HAS THERAPEUTIC POWERS

A study on stroke patients, published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, revealed that the brain’s ability to process images improved among subjects who listened to classical music.

classical music

Classical music has special powers (Shutterstock)

6. MUSIC BOOSTS PHYSICAL WORKOUTS

Moving in time with the beat makes physical workouts more effective, according to research from the US National Library of Medicine.

Woman does push ups on sand

Pumping iron and pumping tunes (Shutterstock)

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