Empathy May Change How You Listen To Music

Image Credit: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience

Image Credit: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience

The brains of people with higher empathy process music differently compared to their less empathetic peers. A study conducted by researchers at Southern Methodist University, Dallas and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has found that compared to people with low empathy, those who are highly empathetic process familiar music with greater involvement of the reward system of the brain, as well as in areas responsible for processing social information.

“High-empathy and low-empathy people share a lot in common when listening to music, including roughly equivalent involvement in the regions of the brain related to auditory, emotion, and sensory-motor processing,” said the study’s lead author Dr Zachary Wallmark.

Although the brains of both groups behaved in similar ways in these areas there was one fairly significant difference. Those who are highly empathetic had much greater involvement of the brain’s social circuitry, like the areas activated when feeling empathy for others. Full story.

Jim Finn (Music Australia) / July 31, 2018

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