How does music affect your brain?  Why can it make us feel instantly happy, sad, angry, inspired, or nostalgic in a way that nothing else can? How does it help some people focus while they work? What makes it such an influential factor in the stores where we shop? What are those tunes doing to our mind to change how we think and feel?

How Does Music Affect Your Brain?

Our brain is our body’s control panel. The cerebral cortex in the brain is its largest part, which is further divided into right and left hemispheres. The right hemisphere is the creative center while the left hemisphere is the analytical and mathematical center. Keeping communication flowing between the two is the corpus callosum, which is the part of the brain that connects the two hemispheres.

Music can literally alter our brain’s perception and consciousness. It is possible to change the perception of time, shifting it from the left hemisphere to the memory, creating an experimental time period. This way, music can speed up or slow down our perception of time depending on the beat of the music. Many people exclaim that time just passes by when they are listening to music without knowing it is actually creating a perception of an experimental time.

What is Music Doing to Your Brainwaves When You Hear It?

Music can also create a flow between the two hemispheres, causing them to work together. So how does music affect your brain? It’s complicated. The sound of music activates the right hemisphere whereas the verbal nature of songs triggers the left brain. This enhances the communication between the right- and left-brain hemispheres.

The Auditory Cortex

Surprisingly, studies have proven that when we remember the tune of a song or when we imagine that we are listening to a piece of music, it triggers the auditory cortex. This confirms that our mind cannot differentiate between what we are imagining and what is actually happening. Therefore, if you wonder, “How does music affect your brain waves?” realize that imagining you are listening to music activates all the same responses as actually listening to it would.

Sensory Perception

Music can also trigger sensory perceptions. For example, if a song reminds us of a fragrance or aroma, whenever we listen to the same song and remember the fragrance, it will activate the same sensory response. The same thing happens when a song reminds us of a feeling, temperature, or even food. We might experience changes in our emotions, body temperature, and hunger levels.

Alpha and Theta Waves

But how else does music affect your brain? It results in production of alpha as well as theta waves. When we have a lot of alpha activity in our brain, we experience creativity. Meanwhile, when theta waves are triggered, we feel relaxed and dreamy. Music that creates beta and theta activity boosts relaxation while enhancing creativity.

Final Thoughts About How Music Affects Your Brain

These factors help to explain why music can make us feel happy or sad and relaxed or pumped up. There are a range of reactions that take place in our brain when we listen to music, and they allow us to feel better.

Moreover, we’re not feeling it alone.  Research into brainwaves has shown that when we listen to music as a group, our brainwaves achieve a kind of synchronized state.  This only increases when, as a group, we’re practicing repeated behaviors, training, or when the song is familiar.  This can way in which music affects your brain can help to explain why music plays in areas in which people are meant to keep performing repetitive, familiar behaviors such as grocery shopping, exercising, or dancing!