Listening to favourite music triggers greatest brain activity

musical notes

Listening to your favourite music enhances brain activity and connectivity, a new study shows.

Research led by neuroradiologist, Jonathan Burdette, and his colleagues from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map each individual’s brain activity while they listened to their most and least favourite genres of music.

Burdette told Life Science Daily that music causes a ‘powerful’ reaction in the brain.

He said: ‘Music is primal. It affects all of us, but in very personal, unique ways.

‘Your interaction with music is different than mine, but it’s still powerful. Your brain has a reaction when you like or don’t like something, including music.’

Data from fMRI technology scanned when participants listened to their own personal preferences, and recorded that brain connectivity was affected the most.

The study may explain why comparable emotional and mental states can be experienced by people listening to music from a wide variety of genres.

Burdette hopes that the research, first published in Nature Scientific Reports, will open new avenues of inquiry for the use of music therapy and rehabilitation after traumatic brain injuries.