If the scope of research on the psychological and physiological impacts of music is any indication, much is known — and yet unknown — about how music affects the human mind and body. “By better understanding what music is and where it comes from, we may be able to better understand our motives, fears, desires, memories and even communication in the broadest sense,” writes neuroscientist, musician and author Daniel J. Levitin in his 2007 book This Is Your Brain on Music.
“Is music listening more along the lines of eating when you’re hungry, and thus satisfying an urge?” he asks in the book. “Or is it more like seeing a beautiful sunset or getting a backrub, which triggers sensory pleasure systems in the brain?” The truth is that the experience of listening to music wildly varies. Yet, in recent years, scientists have made huge advances in understanding how the human brain processes music and how sound affects not just the mind but the body at large. Full story.