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Listening to music is a total brain workout; here’s why

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Whether we’re cleaning our house, pumping iron at the gym or just taking a pause from a busy day, we all love a good jam. Evidence shows listening to music reduces anxiety, increases our mood and even decreases blood pressure.

But it also has another benefit. Music works the brain in the same way exercise works our lungs and muscles. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, music stimulates the brain through a complex process through the auditory cortex. The auditory process is a highly organized processing source of sound and is located in the temporal lobe.

When we listen to music, a few things happen. First, the vibrations pass through the air into the ear canal. These vibrations then tickle the eardrum, prompting an electrical signal to the auditory nerve in the auditory cortex. The music — through these multiple steps — is interpreted in the brain as music.

In addition to being a source of joy, researchers say, it is “structural, computational and mathematical.” The complex process is associated with preventing cognitive decline and improving memory.

Happy listening!