Musicality moves


Caroline Gao

The M.I.T. research team also found that speech and music circuits are in different parts of the brain’s auditory cortex, where sound signals are interpreted. Each circuit is deaf to the other’s sonic cues. But, there is some overlap concerning songs with lyrics.

Caroline Gao, Executive Editor-in-Chief

Music plays an integral part of everyone’s lives. According to the New York Times, on average, Americans listen to nearly four hours of music every day. Given the universality of music, researches have assumed that the human brain is equipped with a “music room.”
Senior Emma Burge said, “As a violinist, music has played such a big role in my life. I couldn’t imagine the world without it, and I think music has definitely shaped the human brain in some way.”
Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have recently devised a new approach of brain imaging that reveals specific neural pathways that react exclusively to the sound of music.
The researchers mathematically analyzed scans of the auditory cortex and grouping clusters of brain cells with similar activation patterns. When a person hears music, any music, a set of neurons located within the person’s auditory cortex fires a response.
Various other sounds, such as animal sounds or car horns, do not trigger the musical circuits.
Junior Anais Cabello said, “It’s really interesting to think about how we react to music. It’s a way to connect with people.”
This research can lead to answering other questions about music, such as why people even have music, and why people enjoy it so much.
Senior Christopher Seger said, “If you really think about, it’s crazy how much music is involved in our lives.”