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Why Your Brain Craves Music

• Joseph Mercola via

If you’re a music lover, you already know that turning on the tunes can help calm your nerves, make stress disappear, pump up your energy level during a workout, bring back old memories, as well as prompt countless other emotions too varied to list.

Even if you’re not a music aficionado, per se, there are compelling reasons why you may want to become one, which were recently revealed by a series of new research.

Music Prompts Numerous Brain Changes Linked to Emotions and Abstract Decision Making

When you listen to music, much more is happening in your body than simple auditory processing. Music triggers activity in the nucleus accumbens, a part of your brain that releases the feel-good chemical dopamine and is involved in forming expectations.

At the same time, the amygdala, which is involved in processing emotion, and the prefrontal cortex, which makes possible abstract decision-making, are also activated, according to new research published in the journal Science.1

Based on the brain activity in certain regions, especially the nucleus accumbens, captured by an fMRI imager while participants listened to music, the researchers could predict how much money the listeners were willing to spend on previously unheard music. As you might suspect, songs that triggered activity in the emotional and intellectual areas of the brain demanded a higher price.

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