College

Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2021-05-11 19:22:52

Major

Psychology

Honors Course

Honors Research in Psychology

Number of Credits

2

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2021

Abstract

This paper will discuss, in short, how music influences our brain, as well as some behavioral and physiological effects as a result. The brain consists of many regions responsible for different cognitive processes, such as learning, memory, recall, speech, and our emotions. It has been found that music helps to facilitate all of these cognitive processes, regardless of its emotional valence or whether the music is active or passive, such as singing or listening to it, respectively. It was discovered that music influences our ability to learn novel concepts related to mathematics, reading, and even language acquisition. It was also discovered that music supports dopaminergic responses related to reward and motivation, and inhibits stress responses due to an increase in cortisol levels, as well as activating regions associated with emotion regulation. Interestingly, music facilitates autobiographical recall and memory too, and decreases behavioral deficits in those with neurological degenerative diseases (like dementia). These findings implicate that music has rehabilitative and therapeutic benefits, supporting the notion that music therapy can be an effective form of therapy for cognitive, behavioral, and psychological disturbances.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Kevin Kaut

First Reader

Dr. Natacha Keramidas

Second Reader

Dr. Richard Einsporn

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Charles Waehler

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