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Why does our brain crave music ?

Posted on Wednesday, 17 April, 2013 | Comment icon 16 comments

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Humans have been playing and listening to music since the dawn of time, so what makes it so appealing ?

Unlike other activities such as eating and drinking that are essential to our survival, the benefits of playing or listening to music aren't quite so obvious. Nonetheless, evidence of musical instruments dates back to the earliest humans and signs of music's cultural influence can be found all over the world. So what is it that makes music such an integral part of our lives ?

Scientist Valorie Salimpoor has been seeking an answer to this question for years. Based on her team's research, Salimpoor believes that the appeal of music lies in both its emotional and intellectual impact on the brain. Listening to a good song not only evokes an emotional response but also provides a direct intellectual reward as well in relation to pattern recognition and prediction within the brain.

"If making music isnít the most ancient of human activities, itís got to be pretty close."

  View: Full article |  Source: TIME Magazine

  Discuss: View comments (16)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by little_dreamer on 17 April, 2013, 23:41
Music - wakes me up in the morning - helps me relax and concentrate during the day - puts me to sleep at night I think music is a higher form of human expression and communication.
Comment icon #8 Posted by ancient astronaut on 18 April, 2013, 1:06
I don't have an answer, but I sure can't live without it. It(music) keeps me sane.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Big Jim on 18 April, 2013, 11:32
"From an evolutionary point of view, however, music doesnít seem to make sense. Unlike sex, say, or food, it did nothing to help our distant ancestors survive and reproduce." Read more: I disagree. Music is still helping people to reproduce. It also fosters group cohesiveness which in primitive environments may have been crucial to survival. Personally, I can't live without it. I can't play a note but I have been fascinated by music since my early teens and over the years I have had equipment and media to store and reproduce music in ever... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Sundew on 18 April, 2013, 21:47
I don't have an answer, but I sure can't live without it. It(music) keeps me sane. I can see that from your icon!
Comment icon #11 Posted by Sundew on 18 April, 2013, 21:51
Humans have been playing and listening to music since the dawn of time, so what makes it so appealing ? Mankind has always been drawn to sax and violins. Sorry.....
Comment icon #12 Posted by shrooma on 19 April, 2013, 1:36
Mankind has always been drawn to sax and violins. Sorry..... . would that be gratuitous sax and senseless violins by any chance....? ;-)
Comment icon #13 Posted by shrooma on 19 April, 2013, 4:31
our brains crave music because ecstacy's pretty bloody boring without it..... :-)
Comment icon #14 Posted by Xanthurion2 on 19 April, 2013, 9:53
Because music is beautiful and has the unique ability to influence one's mood almost instantly.
Comment icon #15 Posted by mysticwerewolf on 23 April, 2013, 6:42
my first thought when I read the title of this threat was "something has to fill up the empty space in my head". but I figured someone looking over my shoulder would get mad at me so I didn't say it. then I thought about it for awhile. from conception to birth all we hear ( if we are capable of hearing before birth) is a rhythmic thump, thump, thump . Most types of music include a beat a rhythmic thump thump thump . It isn't quite the same but I notice that I like drum beats as much as the musical artists that I follow much of the time I prefer elevator music and instrumental music to vocals, ... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by Fyrebyrd40 on 4 May, 2013, 4:14
I once read an article that the rythym of music triggers the endorphines in our brains and thats what makes it so appealing to a lot of people and why we seem to 'crave' more of it.

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