Grammy Nominees are a Brainy Bunch: Music Rewires Your Brain
Music has many benefits, and our brains are hardwired to benefit from it. Musicians' brains are rewired every time they practice. This includes strengthening synapses and building new neurons.
What is neuroscience? Neuroscience is the scientific study and understanding of nervous systems. Neuroscience can include research from many branches, including neurology, brain science and neurobiology, psychology. Artificial intelligence, statistics, stats, prosthetics, neuroscience, engineering, medicine, physics. Pharmacology, electrophysiology. Biology, robotics, and technology are all possible.
These articles are primarily focused on neurology research. What is neurology? Neurology is a science that studies the nervous system, and the disorders that affect them. Neurology research can include information about brain research, neurological disorders and medicine.
What is Psychology? Psychology is the study and analysis of behavior in an individual or group. Our psychology articles include research on mental health, psychiatry and psychology, schizophrenia, autism spectrum as well as happiness, stress, and other topics.
While the Grammy Awards will honor the most successful musicians of our time on Sunday, a neuroscientist from Oregon Health & Science University believes music is a boon to anyone who can sing a tune. He says that music is good for the brain.
Larry Sherman, Ph. D., a professor at the Division of Neuroscience at OHSU's Oregon National Primate Research Center, says that "practicing a musical instrument might be one of the most difficult and challenging things a human brain could do.""You are integrating sensory and fine motor skill, gross motor skills. All of these actions are rewiring your brain so that you can become a Grammy-nominated artist.
Sherman, who has presented on the benefits and co-authored a book on the topic, said that practicing music can help to generate neurons, strengthen connections between brain cells called neuronal synapses, as well as rebuild the myelin sheaths which allow for transmission of electrical signals between cells.
He believes that music played in a group can be even more beneficial. Magnetic resonance imaging has shown music triggers a series of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and endorphins that are associated with positive emotions. These neurotransmitters can help relieve pain and foster a sense of belonging. The greater the group, the greater the effect.
Sherman's research is focused on neurodegeneration. This includes multiple sclerosis, where myelin, which is the protective coating around nerve fibers in central nervous system, is damaged. Through a series public presentations, he has tried to popularize neuroscience by focusing on his personal interest in music.
Sherman has been a regular speaker on neuroscience topics such as music, love and racism since his first appearance in Portland with Valerie Day, a Grammy-nominated singer, and Darrell Grant, a jazz pianist. He has presented over 300 times in seven countries including Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Ireland, as well as the United States.