Can Music Really Keep Your Brain Young?
If you want to keep your body fit and healthy, you should eat well and exercise. If you want to exercise your brain, you should listen to music. At least that’s what the most recent research suggests.
Researchers from John Hopkins University have recently confirmed that there is a connection between the brain and music and that nothing can quite stimulate the brain in the same way as a tune or melody. As such, they are now recommending that people regularly listen to music to ensure their brains are fully engaged throughout the aging process.
The Relationship Between the Brain and Music
Researchers have long been interested in the process by which the brain receives and responds to music. According to the science, the vibrations that are emitted from a stereo or music player travel into the ear canal, where they are transmitted into electrical signals that subsequently travel to the brain stem via the auditory nerve, which assembles the signals into what we perceive to represent music.
According to one otolaryngologist: “Music is structural, mathematical and architectural. It’s based on relationships between one note and the next. You may not be aware of it, but your brain has to do a lot of computing to make sense of it.”
Researchers from John Hopkins performed a study in which rappers and jazz musicians were asked to play improvised music while undergoing an MRI, which monitored which areas of the brain responded to the sounds. The primary objective of this process was to drive insights into how listening to music can influence mood, thought processes, and mental alertness.
So what exactly do you need to do to keep your brain young?
- Get down with the youths
According to the experts at John Hopkins, you should stop listening to your favorite music or the retirement home’s elevator tunes and listen to popular music instead. People tend to listen to the same songs repeatedly and typically favor music from their own era. However, if you want to challenge your brain, you need to listen to new music. You may not like it, but take solace in the fact it’s giving your brain a good workout.
- Recall long-forgotten memories
If you must insist on listening to songs from your past, search out the ones that you haven’t heard for a long time. Take yourself on a journey down memory lane by listening to some classics from your youth, long before you started worrying about mortgage rates and life insurance.
- Be conscious of your emotions
Take note of how different pieces of music make you feel. Select the music that gives you the greatest vibes and/or is suited to your current frame of mind. Listen to your body and select the tunes that work for you. The whole process might end up akin to both psychological and neurological treatments.