Thursday, August 24, 2006

As good as sex, really

Interesting Wired interview with a guy who studies music's effect on the brain. He's found, among other things, that music activates the same parts of the brain and the same brain chemical mix as things like having an orgasm, eating chocolate and winning a big poker hand.

Heck, I could have told him that. Happens every time I put on "Root Down: Jimmy Smith Live!" from Verve and listen to Jimmy Smith play "Root Down (and Get It)."


Janet said...

Hi Greg,

I think I have a book somewhere on my shelves that has to do with what music does to/in our brains. It's a very interesting subject, isn't it?

I often wonder about people who never get goose-bumps when they hear a favorite song. And I also wonder why my favorite songs might not give other people goose-bumps. What is it about the sounds...about the wiring in our brains...etc.?

My "husby" and I often contemplate such things over a good bottle of wine...! ;-)



Mr. Greg said...

Hello Janet. I think some music speaks to us because of its association with memories of our lives. Just the other day I was telling someone how listening to "Aja" always makes me think of a pleasant afternoon I spent in a favorite bar with a buddy of mine and two gal pals.

Then there is music that seems to be just inherently powerful, physically, as the brain guy's research notes, and emotionally. You're right, it would be interesting to know why those effects occur for some people and not others song to song. Then again, I think there's some music that is almost universally effective. Who doesn't get turned on by Beethoven's 9th?

I also find a lot of jazz, free jazz in particular, stimulating not so much on a emotional level but intellectually (as long as you're paying attention). I'd like to know what's going on in the brain in that event.

Janet said...

Greg...YES to the jazz/free jazz comment. And what about Phillip Glass, whose music "sounds" mathematical to me? Same with a lot of Baroque classical music.