Whether you are rocking out to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in your car or reading with Bach in your bedroom, music has a special ability to pump us up or calm us down. Scientists are still trying to figure out what’s going on in our brains when we listen to music and how it produces such potent effects on the psyche.
“We’re using music to better understand brain function in general,” said Daniel Levitin, a prominent psychologist who studies the neuroscience of music at McGill University in Montreal. Three studies published this month explore how the brain responds to music. The quest to dissect exactly what chemical processes occur when we put our headphones on is far from over, but scientists have come across some clues.