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Rock 8 - Listening to Music

Why listen to music?  What does it do to the brain?

“The arts are not meant to ruin science, they are meant to re-invigorate each other.  Science deepens our awe.”

Music is a special sort of juice for the brain.  Music can connect areas of the brain in varied and complex ways.  Music evokes strong emotions and can act as a key that unlocks long forgotten memories.  Recall the power of listening to some long-forgotten track and the memories that come tumbling out as a result.

Music releases dopamine in the brain, the reward-seeking neurotransmitter.  It can also release serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasurable experiences.  The same music can affect brains in the same ways across different people.

Image by Eric Nopanen

Music impacts the whole brain, both hemispheres are involved.  Music activates every area of the brain that has so far been mapped.  Music is like a universal language in the brain. It communicates across all brain regions.  Music gets areas of the brain talking to each other and it can help us gain insight into our emotional lives, it can also support creative mind wandering.


Music helps us explore and experience our emotions.  Music can help us manage Rock 6, enabling us to get in touch with how we're feeling and help us gear-shift our mood.

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