Monday, October 24, 2011

How Music Changes Our Brains

Music has never been more accessible. Just a decade ago, we were lugging around clunky portable CD players that weighed as much as a hardcover book and would skip whenever we made any sudden movement. Now our entire record collection (and thanks to new companies like Spotify, almost any other song on the planet) can fit into our phones. We can listen to music nonstop — on our commute, at work, at the gym and everywhere else we might want to. But what is this explosion of sound doing to our brains?
In their new book, "Healing at the Speed of Sound," Don Campbell, an author who has written extensively about music and health, and Alex Doman, a specialist in technology in brain function, take an extensive survey about what the latest neuroscientific findings tell us about music and the brain. Although excessive noise has be harmful in a number of ways, music has been shown to improve children with learning disabilities, help elders feel more connected to the world, and even get people into better shape. It provides children with a "hook" for the brain’s memory centers, allowing them to retain more information, and it can play huge roles in modifying our moods.

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