Music And Its Affect On The Brain Can Help With TBI Recovery

Every time you listen to a piece of music, you’re actually giving yourself a deep, full-brain workout. Anyone who has heard a song knows that the feeling is unlike any other. Neurological research into music comprehension has glimpsed why that might be. A song starts with your ears and ends with the music resonating in some way through all four of the brain’s major lobes, producing reactions throughout the body, evoking emotions and memory. Looking more closely at the pathways music takes through the brain only reveals why it’s played such a powerful role in human life for so long. **Music doesn’t follow one path through the brain in a fixed way, so although some things happen earlier than others, much of it happens simultaneously. The various structures involved with comprehension are constantly relaying information back and forth to one another and processing disparate information simultaneously in order to build one’s understanding and response to music. **Music with groove promotes corticospinal excitability, which causes that irresistible urge to dance. Additionally, music often causes blood to pump into the muscles in our legs, which many believe is what causes people to tap their feet. **Perhaps the strongest reason that people continue to return to music is its effect on memory. Since memories are not stored in the brain in a centralized location but are instead spread throughout neurological pathways, music’s ability to activate such large areas of our brain serves as a powerful stimulus for evoking memories. Music’s connection to emotion imbues these musical memories with even more significance. In fact, music can be so effective at stimulating memories, it’s sometimes used to help patients living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia grasp portions of their former selves.(