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Researchers Study How Your Favorite Song Affects Your Brain

Researchers Study How Your Favorite Song Affects Your Brain

(Above: A researcher studies brain scans of a patient inside an MRI, in a video from Houston Methodist.)Houston Methodist recently conducted a study concerning music’s effect on the brain. In the study, the subjects were placed in an MRI machine and exposed to various types of pre-selected music and plain speaking, and then a song of the subject’s choosing.

That last part is what the researchers really honed in on after discovering that certain areas of our brains receive a significant increase in blood flow and activity when exposed to familiar music with a strong personal connection.

To discuss the methods behind the research — and where they hope to take it — we talk with Dr. Christof Karmonik, a neuroscientist with Houston Methodist, and Todd Frazier, a composer who works at Houston Methodist’s Center for Performing Arts Medicine.(Above: Comparison imagery of patients’ brains when listening to music they’re not familiar with and music the subjects are familiar with, from a video by Houston Methodist.)

About the Author

Abner Fletcher

Abner FletcherAbner Fletcher is a multimedia producer for Houston Matters and Houston Public Media.View all posts by Abner Fletcher →