Music has been an integral part of human’s life since ancient time. It has been associated with a lot of benefits as well, with stress buster being one of the primary reasons. However, the utility of music has gone one step forward when a recent report revealed that it can help people who have difficulty in learning and suffer from anxiety as well as other emotions capable of invoking stress. Moreover, some forms of music are helpful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and also has the potential of altering perceptions, improve creativity levels and look at partners.
The findings of this new study have been published in the PNAS journal and researchers from the University of Montreal in Canada have reported that the reward center of the brain gets activated by music and motivate the process of learning. This proposition had been made previously but no such evidence had been produced. The recent research was done using MRI and task related to musical learning. It brought forward quite two results
The research was done on 20 participants typically aged between 18-27 years. They were asked to choose certain colors along with combinations in order to access music which could either be pleasant or unpleasant. After a few attempts, they learned the combinations to choose in order to get the reward of pleasant music. Their brain activity was also tracked using a live MRI, mainly to see the difference between how often they expected to get a good reward and how often they actually got.
The test revealed that when the participants knew that pleasant music was going to be the reward, they were more motivated to do the task. Moreover, Nucleus Accumbens, the pleasure center associated with music got stimulated on listening to music and progress was noticed in the learning activity. Thus, predictive processing is also contemplated along with some real evidence about the usefulness of music on people’s lives.