The Neurochemistry of Music


Trends in Cognitive Sciences




Music is used to regulate mood and arousal in everyday life and to promote physical and psychological health and well-being in clinical settings. However, scientific inquiry into the neurochemical effects of music is still in its infancy. In this review, we evaluate the evidence that music improves health and well-being through the engagement of neurochemical systems for (i) reward, motivation, and pleasure; (ii) stress and arousal; (iii) immunity; and (iv) social affiliation. We discuss the limitations of these studies and outline novel approaches for integration of conceptual and technological advances from the fields of music cognition and social neuroscience into studies of the neurochemistry of music. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Mental Health; Music Cognition; Music and Cognition; Music and Healing; Psychological Outcomes; Stress; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

neurochemistry; psychological health; well being; moods; arousal; animal models; Adrenocorticotropic Hormone; Brain; Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone; Dopamine; Functional Neuroimaging; Hydrocortisone; Motivation; Opioid Peptides; Oxytocin; Pleasure; Pro-Opiomelanocortin; Reward; Serotonin; Social Identification; Stress; Emotional States; Physiological Arousal

Study Type

Editorials, Opinions, Position Papers

Document Type