Music has Powerful (and Visible) Effects on the Brain

It doesn't matter if it's Bach, the Beatles, Brad Paisley or Bruno Mars. Your favorite music likely triggers a similar type of activity in your brain as other people's favorites do in theirs. 

That's one of the things Jonathan Burdette, M.D., has found in researching music's effects on the brain. 

"Music is primal. It affects all of us, but in very personal, unique ways," said Burdette, a neuroradiologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "Your interaction with music is different than mine, but it's still powerful. 

"Your brain has a reaction when you like or don't like something, including music. We've been able to take some baby steps into seeing that, and 'dislike' looks different than 'like' and much different than 'favorite.'" 

To study how music preferences might affect functional brain connectivity -- the interactions among separate areas of the brain -- Burdette and his fellow investigators used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which depicts brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow. Scans were made of 21 people while they listened to music they said they most liked and disliked from among five genres (classical, country, rap, rock and Chinese opera) and to a song or piece...(READ MORE)

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