I’d rather we explore each other’s ideas in real time, rather than assign a label to it and assert you know what’s going to happen in advance.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson
If someone asks you “What has NASA ever done to make our lives any better?” … show them this site. Benefit after benefit from space research to Earth!
(via HuffPost Science)
Sometimes we need the right music to get ouf of bed in the morning, to get on with cleaning the house, to hype ourselves up. Soundtracks make movies more dramatic, funny, or scary. And some bittersweet songs about lost love even manage to make us cry.
Does music really influence our emotions? The answer lies in the brain:
- Happy music makes you happy because it activates the same cerebral areals as other stimuli that elicit positive feelings.
We knew that pleasant and unpleasant pictures cause different activity patterns in the brain (Davidson et al., 2000). An experiment used EEG data of students (Schmidt & Trainor, 2001) to reveal that “positive” and “negative” music induces the same asymmetrical brain activity.
- Ten students were asked to bring music to the laboratory that gave them goosebumps, which the subject group listened to in turns with neutral compositions (Blood & Zatorre, 2001). When listening to the goosebumps-inducing music, both heart rate and respiratory frequency quickened.
Moreover, their brain activity signaled pleasant emotional arousal. The more intense the goosebumps, the more active the brain areals in question.
What makes music happy or sad?
- One factor seems to be pace. In another experiment students listened to relatively quick and relatively slow pieces. Again, the brain activity was asymmetrical. Quicker music is generally happier than slow music. (Tsang et al., 2001)
It’s still a small mystery why music makes us feel things. Music uses neuronal emotion and reward mechanisms similar to those of food, sex, and drugs. This is remarkable, given that it is neither essential to biological survival or procreation, nor a pharmacological substance.
this kid is fucking metal