Business and News from The Golden State
By DONNA BALANCIA
Music could be an alternative to drugs as therapy for mental health issues, a report indicates.
Based on a study at the University of Helsinki, research shows that classical music has a tempo-regulating effect on genes responsible for generating feelings of pleasure.
Participants in the study listened to Mozart, and scientists noted greater improvement of brain function in those who were already familiar with the music compared with those who were not.
Dopamine secretion and synaptic transmissions are aided by listening to classical music, the study concluded. Dopamine helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers and is conveyed through connections made through the synaptic transmissions.
The study indicates that listening to classical music can also help memory and learning. It also suggests that there is an evolutionary similarity between the genes that are responsible for learning songs and those found in songbirds that enable them sing.
However, classical music isn’t the only genre that may have a positive effect, as the research team said it’s possible that any other type of music the subject may like could also have a positive physical effect.
There is evidence that music is filtered through and affects several parts of the brain, according to reports.
In another study in which participants listened to a short piece of music, subjects were more likely to interpret an expression as happy or sad, matching the tone of the piece of music heard.
There is also evidence of greater creativity through listening to music at lower volumes.
Background noise, particularly in the form of music, can lead to greater creativity. Louder noise or music, however, can negatively impact the ability to process information and leads to impaired creativity.
All this information is not going unnoticed. A company called PureTech announced at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive conference that it would study the use of music in clinical applications, as reported in MedCity News. PureTech also said its goal is to help researchers, technologists and scientists develop software and tech products to aid in preventing or slowing degenerative neurological conditions.