Document Type

White Paper

Publication Date


Music and Health Institute Terms

Music and Cognition; Music Listening; Music Neuroscience; Receptive Music Methods


A better understanding of how and why we are so moved by music can emerge from a closer look at how the brain functions. Music causes both structural and functional changes in the brain, both with immediate exposure and over several weeks, months and years.

By the very fact that music is processed by so many areas of the brain (ranging from the cortex, to the limbic system, to the neuroendocrine and even autonomic nervous systems), exerts an effect not only on our brain, but also on our bodies.

As our understanding of how the biological processes of the brain evolve, so, it seems, will our ability to harness the properties of our evolutionary and instinctual response to music: one that arises from, and can thereby shape, our individual brain structure and function to mitigate collective disease severity and improve wellness across populations.

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Neurology Commons