- Introduction to Vegan Cooking
- How to stock your pantry
- Removing the Mystery Behind Disease - Recipes
- Healthy from Inside Out - Recipes
- 305C - Recipes
- Anti-Depression Recipes
- Beans and Legumes
- Dips, Dressings, and Sauces
- Drinks, Shakes, and Juices
- Meat Substitutes and Tofu
- Soups and Stews
- Vegetable Dishes
- Natural Remedies
- Contact Us
Music and the Frontal Lobe
Publish date: Jan 12, 2011
Summary: Music enters the brain through its emotional regions, which include the temporal lobe and the limbic system.
|Share with others:||
Few people understand music’s powerful frontal lobe influence. All music enters the brain through its emotional regions yet some types of music also stimulate the frontal lobe responses.i
Some kinds of music tend to produce a frontal lobe response that influences the will, moral worth, and reasoning power. Other kinds of music will evoke very little, if any, frontal lobe response, but will produce a large emotional response with very little logical or moral interpretation.
Music appears to have both general and specific brain effects. Listening to music appears to favorably balance the frontal lobe function in depression. By actual EEG measurement, music decreases over-dominant right frontal lobe activity in chronically depressed individuals.ii,iii However, medical research also raises serious concerns about certain types of music.
Thus, depending on the type of music, its net influence can be either beneficial or detrimental—depending on whether it predominately stimulates the frontal lobe or the “lower” emotional centers. Music therapists tell us certain types of music, such as rock with its syncopated rhythm, bypass the frontal lobe and our ability to reason and make judgments about it. Evidence suggests that it, like television, can produce a hypnotic effect.iv
Is Rock Music Ruining our Kids?
Over the years various individuals have accused rock music of ruining America’s youth. Some years ago, researchers Schreckenberg and Bird (a neurobiologist and physicist) teamed up to put this generalization to a test. They designed a study to evaluate neurological reactions in mice to different musical rhythms.v
Throughout their eight week study, the investigators kept their mice divided into three groups; one group constantly heard rock-groups; one group constantly heard rock-like disharmonic drum beats softly playing, a second group heard only classical music, while the third heard no music at all.
At the beginning of the study, all the mice went through a standard maze test (searching for food at the end of the maze). All three groups performed equally well, groping about the maze until they found the food. By the end of the eight weeks the second and third groups had learned the direct path to the food. The “rock group,” however, was still groping about, taking much longer to find the food then the other two groups.
Next there was a three-week break in their maze training where no music played. After that, the mice were re-tested. Again the rock group performed poorly. They continued to have difficulty remembering how to get to their food, while the other two groups still found it quickly. The rock group seemed almost to be starting from scratch, groping around disoriented. Both the control group and the classical group, on the other hand, could run the maze considerably faster, providing they restrained what they learned. However, the rock group appeared to have an irreversible learning handicap.
To determine why the poor performers had so much trouble, the researchers examined their brains, looking for changes in the hippocampus. Remember, this region lies deep in the brain and affects emotions, memory, and learning. Schreckenberg and Bird found visible evidence of abnormal branching and sprouting of the nerve cells, as well as disruptions in messenger RNA, a chemical crucial to memory storage.
Schreckenberg and Bird’s research not only linked rock-like music to hippocampal damage, they also found it caused frontal lobe shrinkage. If such results carried over to humans, we would expect deleterious effects on moral values, learning, and reasoning power. Furthermore, because of the connections between frontal lobe impairment and depression, we might also anticipate a connection between rock music and depression.
Although neurologists, psychologists, and other health professionals may debate some of the connections between music genres and depression, several associations seem clear from the human research literature.
First, rock music and music videos have been linked to harmful believes and behaviors, even in adolescence, such as harmful sexual attitudes and alcohol use.vi
Furthermore, music videos, especially those shown on MTV, have a track record of positively modeling tobacco smoking.vii Indeed, a variety of risky behaviors have been associated with watching contemporary music videos and heavy metal music preferences.
Second, such high risk behaviors (whether they involve substance abuse, sexual attitudes and practices, or other behaviors), in and of themselves, are associated with depression.
Third, if someone becomes frankly depressed and is contemplating suicide, music videos with violent and self destructive imagery appear to nurture suicidal thinking.viii A number of studies have described a link between heavy metal listening and suicidal ideation. Although research suggests pre-existing factors may attract youth with suicidal tendencies to this music genre, there are also indications that such rock music perpetuates depression and suicidal ideation.ix
On the other hand, harmonious hymns and symphonies produce beneficial frontal lobe responses. Although controversial, the research literature has been convincing enough to me that I raised my children in this kind of musical environment. For example, some studies link classical music, such as Mozart piano sonatas, to improve spatial-temporal reasoning—useful in disciplines like engineering and geometry.x In another study, three to five-year-old children who were given eight months of group singing and keyboard lessons demonstrated improved frontal lobe function compared to similar aged children who didn’t receive such music lessons.xi
The impact of music on shaping the character (and hence the frontal lobe) was recognized at least 23 centuries ago. Aristotle, the famous Greek philosopher wrote, “...when one listens to music that imitates a certain passion he becomes imbued with the same passion. If over a long time he habitually listens to the kind of music that rouses ignoble [degraded or vulgar] passions, his whole character will be shaped to an ignoble form. In short, if one listens to the wrong kind of music he will become the wrong kind of person; conversely, if he listens to the right kind of music he will tend to become the right kind of person.”xii
Certainly from the studies we’ve briefly reviewed, most music television programming and other sources of rock-like music appear to fit into Aristotle’s category of music that shapes character “to an ignoble form.” I can’t help but wonder what would happen if our young people all group up in a positive, supportive environment—with the best quality classical music. I imagine many more would become wholesome, ethical individuals who would be numbered among the greatest men and women in history.
i. J. McElwain, Personal Communication (Enid, OK: Phillips University).
ii. T. Field, A. Martinez, et al., "Music shifts frontal EEG in depressed adolescents," Adolescence (Spring 1998): 109-116.
iii. N. A. Jones, T. Field, "Massage and music therapies attenuated frontal EEG asymmetry in depressed adolescents," Adolescence (Fall 1999): 529-534.
iv. J. McElwain, Personal Communication (Enid, OK: Phillips University).
v. G. Schreckenberg, H. H. Bird, "Neural plasticity of MUS musculus in response to disharmonic sound," The Bulletin (New Jersey Academy of Science, 1987): 77-86.
vi. L. Kalof, "The effects of gender and music video imagery on sexual attitudes," J Soc Psychol (Jun 1999): 378-385, D. L. Peterson, K. S. Pfost, "Influence of rock videos on attitudes of violence against women," Psychol Rep (February 1989): 319-22, J. S. Strouse, N. Buerkel-Rothfuss, E. C. Long, "Gender and family as moderators of the relationship between music video exposure and adolescent sexual permissiveness," Adolescence (Fall 1995): 505-521, and T. Robertson, H. Chen, J. D. Killen, "Television and music video exposure and risk of adolescent alcohol use," Paediatrics (November 1998): E54.
vii. R. H. DuRant, E. S. Rome, M. Rich, E. Allred, S. J. Emans, E. R. Woods, "Tobacco and alcohol use behaviours portrayed in music videos: a content analysis," Am J Public Health (July 1997): 1131-5.
viii. R. A. Rustad, J. E. Small, D. A. Jobes, M. A. Safer, R. J. Peterson, "The impact of rock videos and music with suicidal content on thoughts and attitudes about suicide," Suicide Life Treat Behav (Summer 2003): 120-31.
ix. S. Stack, "Heavy metal, religiosity, and suicide acceptability," Suicide Life Threat Behave (Winter 1998): 388-94.
x. F. Rauscher, G. Shaw G, K. N. Ky, "Listening to Mozart enhances spatial temporal reasoning: Towards a neurophysiological basis," Neuroscience netter 185 (1995): 44-47.
xi. F. Rauscher, G. Shaw, et al., Music and Spatial Task Performances: A casual relationship (Presented at the American Psychological Association 102nd Annual Convention in Los Angeles, CA: August 12-16, 1994).
xii. D. Grout, A History of Western Music third edition (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1980).
This article is adapted from the book Depression: The Way Out by Dr. Neil Nedley. Visit Dr. Nedley's website
Healthy Living Resources
What's the right kind of Water for my Health?
Spirituality and Health
Learn the eight laws of health that lead to an abundant life.
Dr. Rainda gives good advice on balanced living.
Why is building your blood important? What does it mean to cleanse your blood? The answers to these questions could prove instrumental in guiding you to better health.
Read about four important parenting tips from Ellen White to help develop a healthy family unit.
Moderate, monitored fasting can be part of a healthy detox regime.
Starting the day right involves a hearty, healthy breakfast.
How to Achieve a Perfect Combination
Learn what young coconut kefir is, in addition to all the wonderful benefits you will reap when consuming this ever so fabulous health tonic.
Everyone experiences stress. We cannot heal from stress without understanding it first, and learning to deal with it head on.
What is Candida? Candida is the short name used to describe yeast overgrowth in the body. The technical term is Candidiasis. Like their &...
Every private home should have charcoal on hand as a ready antidote for poisoning, and as a cleansing agent in infectious and various metabolic disturbances.
A healthy heart is crucial for a healthy life. So why don't we take better care of our hearts?
We keep our muscles strong and effective in the same way that we exercise our spiritual gifts and "prayer muscles" to keep them free from atrophy.
From burns to weak bones, raw honey can help.
Written in 1936 and still used as an essential reference today. Book Review.
Melons are more than just a sweet, juicy treat.
Learn the importance of iron in the diet and how to get enough iron the vegetarian way.
Learn why you should make chia seeds a part of your diet.
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, has long been used as a home remedy for a variety of ailments. Added to bath water, it has been used to relieve colds, back pain, ease muscle tension and treat certain skin conditions.
A simple green algae food, chlorella, can help with dozens of health conditions.
Learn how to take care of your biggest organ: your skin.
Several charts show best time to plant vegetables in accordance with blooming time of perennials.
A helpful chart for those wanting to grow their own garden vegetables.
Chart showing how to space your vegetables in the garden and how to care for your plants.
Is soy a smart food to include in a healthy diet?
Every 7 minutes, someone in Canada dies of a heart attack or stroke. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death and magnesium deficiency is a major contributing factor.
Can plants really communicate? Ask Dr. Mercola.
Carrageenan, a food additive made from seaweed, could be harmful.
Mammogram screening is becoming increasingly popular in North America. But is it the safest way to screen for breast cancer?
Jean Handwerk explains the connection between modern wheat and many averse health effects.
Is chocolate really that bad? If so, what are the alternatives?
Find practical ideas for dealing with depression in these articles about symptoms and treatments.
It has been shown that a vegan diet can provide all the body’s needs and can be followed without fear.
Does Eat Right For Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo align with Scripture and science?
Even if you don’t feel sick, your digestion may be poor enough to slowly poison your system. No, this isn’t simply a theory, but the conclusion from years of laboratory testing and clinical experience. Autointoxication is real.
The fever is perhaps the most overtreated health symptom of all.
Tony de Morais explains the wide spectrum of uses for clay.
In 1971 President Nixon and Congress declared war on cancer. So what's happened in the 40 years since? After weeding out the hype and filling in the actual statistics, it turns out, not much.
Can anything be done to prevent common illnesses?
Don't let dentists put this poison in your mouth!
A look at the health benefits of potatoes.
Dr. Roy Swank found that the diets of those with Multiple Sclerosis can make a difference in their prognosis.
Take a closer look at the safety of midwife-assisted home births versus hospital births.
When you open the fridge to grab a snack, consider simple, healthy alternatives to sugar-filled munchies and beverages.
A quick reference list of healthful, dairy-free ways to get your calcium.
Find information on the products that Jeanie Davis recommends in Healthy from Inside Out
Learn the best, natural mixture to use when cleaning fresh veggies and fruit.
When shopping for groceries, check the labels for carrageenan, a thickening agent scientists are blaming for various gastrointestinal illnesses.
Food borne illness is on the increase worldwide. In most cases, animal products are implicated as the main source of infection.
Health is about more than just diet or exercise.
Inject some fun into your food routine with these healthy meal ideas.
Pain pills aren't always the best way to deal with aches and soreness. Various therapies—including vibrational therapy—can have you on the road to recovery.
Some fruits and vegetables should not be eaten together, as they can react and cause digestive issues.
Have you considered carob as an alternative to chocolate? See for yourself the impact chocolate can have on your health.
Learn about the acidity or alkalinity of your favorite foods.
There are many types of water available today. Some are better for your health than others.
Learn why drinking at least 2.5L of water per day is vital to your body's health at any age.
Fluoride in drinking water has been linked to decline in IQ and may cause health issues.
Excitotoxins cause physical and spiritual destruction.
Is consuming alcohol ever a good idea?
Smoking leads to massive amounts of sickness and death every year.
Maybe vegetarianism is the best option after all...
Get the truth about lactose, calcium, and the need for caution around dairy products.
The agriculture industry is fast becoming reliant on genetically modified foods. Learn the facts about GMOs and the effects this trend is having on health worldwide.
Diabetes is spreading across North America. Is there anything we can do to stop this killer disease?
Refined sugar is addictive, destructive, and devoid of any nutritional value. Why does it continue to be a staple food across the world?
There are now over 3,000 additives in our foods. Incredibly, only 7% have any nutritional value.
Do the stimulating benefits of coffee really outweigh the costs?
Most of the bread products consumed today are made of refined grains. Are our breakfast cereals and "fortified" loaves as healthy as we like to think?
Vaccination began 200 years ago as an experimental life-saving medical tool. While it originally had some merit, today it has become perhaps the leading cause of death and disability among our children.
Music enters the brain through its emotional regions, which include the temporal lobe and the limbic system.
Plant medicine safety pale in comparison to the promotional and safety practices of the mainstream drug industry.
If God made the world, and our bodies, then the Creation story can give us clues about how we should live for optimum health. But how did what God called "good" transform into a dog-eat-dog world of carnivores, thorns, parasites, and other ugly aspects of Creation?
If God made everything so good, why are there so many problems? Are thorns and weeds evolved adaptations or changes in Creation?
This article uses pieces of nature, such as the genome, the cell, and even the eye, as evidence that God is the Creator of all things.
It seems clear that organisms change over time. But why? Is it evolution?
Some call it cacophony and are driven to madness; others find it the most beautiful event in all of creation—the dawn chorus of the birds.