Music, Mood & Emotions

Part 2

 

Music, Mood & Emotions

 

How Does Music Impact Our Emotions?

 Part 2 -- continued

Other researchers have found the sound of drums may influence how bodies work. Quoted in a 2001 article in USA Today, Suzanne Hasner, chairwoman of the music therapy department at Berklee College of Music in Boston, says even those with dementia or head injuries retain musical ability.

The article reported results of an experiment in which researchers from the Mind-Body Wellness Center in Meadville, Pa., tracked 111 cancer patients who played drums for 30 minutes a day. They found strengthened immune systems and increased levels of cancer-fighting cells in many of the patients.

"Deep in our long-term memory is this rehearsed music,” Hasner says. “It is processed in the emotional part of the brain, the amygdala. Here’s where you remember the music played at your wedding, the music of your first love, that first dance. Such things can still be remembered even in people with progressive diseases. It can be a window, a way to reach them…"

The American Music Therapy Organization claims music therapy may allow for "emotional intimacy with families and caregivers, relaxation for the entire family, and meaningful time spent together in a positive, creative way".

Scientists have been making progress in its exploration into why music should have this effect. In 2001 Dr. Anne Blood and Robert Zatorre of McGill University in Montreal, used positron emission tomography, or PET scans, to find out if particular brain structures were stimulated by music.

In their study, Blood and Zatorre asked 10 musicians, five men and five women, to choose stirring music. The subjects were then given PET scans as they listened to four types of audio stimuli - the selected music, other music, general noise or silence. Each sequence was repeated three times in random order.

Blood said when the subjects heard the music that gave them "chills," the PET scans detected activity in the portions of the brain that are also stimulated by food and sex.

 Music, Mood & Emotions

Part 1 of Music, Moods & Emotions
Part 2 of Music, Moods & Emotions
Part 3 of Music, Moods & Emotions
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