8 unexpected effects and benefits of music on our brains

Music is indispensable in the lives of so many people. But many people mainly use music for entertainment, while music also has great influence and benefits to our brains.

“Without music, life would be a mistake” – Friedrich Nietzsche

1. Happy or sad music influences the perception of other people’s faces

We often choose to listen to a happy or sad song randomly, not for the sake of it being happy or sad. But in fact, our brain actually responds differently to funny and sad music.

Even a happy or sad short piece of music can affect us. One study found that after listening to a short piece of music, listeners tended to judge whether a neutral face was sad or happy according to the melody of the music they had just heard. This also happens with other facial expressions, but most notably in the faces close to neutral.

In addition, it is interesting that our emotions are also influenced by these two nuances of music with two types of emotions: perceived emotions and felt emotions.

This means that sometimes we can understand the emotions of a piece of music without actually feeling it. This explains why some of us listen to sad music for reasons to enjoy, and they don’t feel depressed.

In fact, most of the time we listen to music, we perceive the feelings of others from the nuances of the music rather than actually feeling them.

2. Environmental noise can increase creativity

Moderate noise can stimulate creativity better than noise levels that are too low or too high.

The reason is that moderate noise makes handling difficult, thereby increasing the abstraction of treatment options, leading to higher creativity. In other words, when we struggle (at an adequate level) to handle familiar problems, we can find more creative approaches.

For example: the sound of rain or the sound of the waves

In environments with a high level of noise, our creative thinking is impaired because we will feel overwhelmed and struggle to process information effectively.

3. Select music that expresses the personality of the listener

Here is just an informal study on young couples, but you can refer, anyway, it’s quite interesting.

In a study of couples getting to know each other, looking at the top ten of each other’s favorite songs actually provides pretty reliable predictions about each other’s personality traits.

This study uses five personality traits for testing: willingness to experience, openness, ease, conscientiousness, and emotional stability.

Interestingly, some personality traits are accurately predicted based on listening habits, while some are less accurate. For example, personality traits with experience, openness, and emotional stability are easily predictable. On the contrary, dedicated personality can be difficult to predict based on musical interests.

The following are specific details about the genres corresponding to the listeners’ personalities, according to a study conducted at Heriot-Watt University:

Blues music players have high self-esteem, creativity, openness, lightness and comfort

Jazz music lovers have a high self-esteem, creativity, openness and comfort

Classical music fans have high self-esteem, creativity, introvertedness and comfort

Rap fans have high self-esteem and openness

Fans of the Opera genre have high self-esteem, creativity and lightness
Country and western music fans are very hardworking and open
Reggae music fans have high self-esteem, creativity, hard work, openness, lightness and comfort
Dance music fans are creative and open but not gentle
Indie music fans have low self-esteem, are creative, hard-working, and not gentle
Bollywood fans are creative and open
Rock / heavy metal fans are people with low self-esteem, creativity, hard work, and openness; gentle and comfortable
Fans who love to listen to pop music have a high self-esteem, are hard-working, open-minded and gentle, but not creative and uncomfortable.
Soul music fans have high self-esteem, creativity, openness, lightness and comfort.

4. Music can distract us significantly when we drive

Another study was done on teenagers and young adults, looking at how their driving is affected by music.

The drivers tested the steering wheel while listening to the music of their choice, keeping silent or “safe” tracks selected by the researchers. Of course, drivers will prefer the music they choose, but experiments also show that they make drivers more distracted, make more mistakes and are less yielding when driving. .

More surprising: the experiment proved that the music provided by the researchers was more beneficial to the driver than when no music was played. It seems that unfamiliar, boring tracks are best for safe driving.

5. Learning music can greatly improve motor and reasoning skills
We often think that learning musical instruments is beneficial for children, but it is even more beneficial than expected. One study found that children who learned to play an instrument for three or more years were more able to distinguish sounds and had better motor skills and exercise skills than children without any musical instrument.

Children who receive music training are also better evaluated in nonverbal vocabulary and reasoning, which are related to understanding and analyzing visual information, such as identifying relationships, calculating Similarities and differences between shapes and patterns.

6. Classical music can improve visual attention

Not only do children benefit from music training or music exposure. A small study found that stroke patients had better visual attention when listening to classical music.

The study also experimented with white noise (wind chimes, crickets in the night, fans, showers, train tracks, etc.) and silence to compare results. The results, like the studies with the drivers mentioned earlier, silence lead to the worst score.

Because the study is so small, conclusions need to be further investigated to confirm, but we can confirm that music and noise can affect human senses and abilities.

7. A one-way conversation is more distracting than a normal conversation

The phone calls of others, when we sit by the side and hear only half the story of the conversation, cause the highest distraction.

One survey found that 82% of people surveyed feel annoyed when they overheard conversations on other people’s phones. So Veronica Galván, a cognitive psychologist at the University of San Diego, decided to investigate the cause.

In the study, participants sat down for word puzzles, half of them overheard the person next to them talking on the phone, the other half listening to the entire conversation between the two people in the room.

People who listen to one-way phone conversations find it more distracting than those who listen to both. The person who hears the phone also remembers the content of the call. This shows that one-way calls attract their attention more than listeners on both sides.

The unpredictable mysteries of a one-way call seem to be the cause of our more attention. On the other hand, hearing both sides of the conversation gives us more information about the context, which makes it easier to adjust our distractions.

8. Music helps us practice

The issue of music and sports practice is the same as the driver and silence above.

Research on the effects of music on exercise has been done over the years. In 1911, Leonard Ayres, an American researcher, found that cyclists ran faster while listening to music than when cycling in silence.

This is because music can drown out the brain’s “complaining” fatigue. When the body is tired and wants to stop exercising, it sends a signal to the brain to stop and rest. Listening to music attracts the attention of our brains and can overwrite the signals of fatigue, although this is primarily beneficial for low- or moderate-intensity exercise. . With high-intensity exercise, music is not powerful enough to overwhelm the brain’s attention with the pain of the practice.

Not only can the body overcome pain for longer and harder workouts, listening to music can also help us use energy more efficiently. A 2012 study found that cyclists who listened to music consumed 7% less oxygen than quiet cyclists.

A number of recent studies have shown that to be effective when practicing, the tempo of the song should not exceed 145 beats per minute (bpm). Here are statistics on the rhythms of different music genres:

Rhythm of music genres

Thus, we can choose the music types suitable to the training speed as the table below.

Choose the rhythm of the music genre for the practice

So, along with practicing to make us happier, music can also play a part.

Besides entertainment, music also brings us many effects and benefits. Keep in mind and apps for your life.

Turning nuclear waste into diamond contains clean energy

Nuclear waste is a major environmental hazard, but in the near future it can be used as a feedstock for a clean energy source.

By packing shortwave radioactive materials in a hard block of diamond-like material, we can prevent these short-wave radiation from escaping while generating a small charge.

Scientists at Bristol University have developed a method to turn radioactive waste into batteries in the form of artificial diamonds, so that radioactive wastes are safely disposed of and at the same time emitting. low power.

In the published experiment, a team of scientists used a nickel-63 isotope for experiments. They hope that this can be done with the radioactive isotope Carbon-14, which is easily found in graphite blocks from nuclear power plants.

“By packaging the radioactive material inside the diamond, we turn the long-term problem of nuclear waste into nuclear energy batteries and long-term clean energy supplies,” said Tom Scott, a professor The material, at the interface analysis center, Bristol University, UK, said.

Diamond batteries made from this radioactive waste will not generate much energy. It is estimated that one gram of the isotope Carbon-14 in each battery can generate 15 J of energy per day – less than the energy generated by a conventional AA battery. However, the battery life is determined by their time of radiation. The researchers estimate that a diamond battery will last 5,730 years to consume 50% of its energy. Most likely, these diamond batteries will be used for unmanned aerial vehicles at high altitudes, pacemakers, spacecraft and places where replacing the batteries is difficult or impossible.

About 20% of power plants in the world use graphite to absorb neutrons to stabilize thermogenic nuclear reactions. The graphite blocks after being used are mostly turned into Carbon-14 isotopes and become nuclear waste.

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In the UK alone, nuclear power plants have 95,000 tons of graphite as radioactive waste.

However, according to the scientists, the actual implementation of this experimental result will still be a long way. The cost of creating diamond batteries is quite expensive, so it is difficult to convert large amounts of nuclear waste into batteries. However, we can hope that the waste from nuclear reactors will not exist forever, but will be treated and bring new uses.