Some people prefer to listen music to focus and some prefer silence over music to study, write or to be productive. So which one is better for our brain and our body? Let’s start by finding out what noise the opposite of silence does our bodies.
Studies were conducted by the World Health Organization that linked noise pollution, like loud city sounds, with higher blood pressure and a higher chance of a fatal heart attack. All right don’t panic that neighbour playing Loud music at 4.am is not going to kill you. But prolonged exposure to a noisy environment can lead to cognitive deficits as well. Studies have shown that students in schools near airports and train stations have suffered negative effects on long-term memory and reading comprehension, leading some cities to require soundproofing in schools. So noise may not kill you, but it increases your stress levels, which is no Bueno for brain long-term.
Silence, on the other hand, has been correlated with lower stress hormones. Also, studies done on mice in 2013 found that those exposed to silence over white noise or even Mozart expressed higher rates of neurogenesis or the productions of neurons in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that processes memory. Further studies found more evidence that the brain is processing and evaluating new information faster in time of silence over the sound. So less stress, new neurons, new synaptic connections and memory formation sounds good for productivity.
I know what you are thinking but I do my best work when listening to Passenger. Me too love ” Let Her Go”. But be patient, we are geting there.
Music permeates all parts of the brain, not just the temporal lobe or auditory cortices. If the song slaps or if it is trash, it will activate your Amygdala and parts of your Limbic system responsible for emotional response. what’s more, both music and language are auditorily processed both are forms of communication and I don’t know about you all but I consider music like a language.
New research shows that there may be neurons in the auditory cortex that activate specifically for music, not language or other random sounds. So if your brain is bussy processing emotions, lyrics and now there are these new other neurons firing, how much attention is left to remember Co-ordinate geometry. Remember that gem from Highschool, Huh?
Science says it depends. A 2010 study found that music may impair cognitive abilities if you are trying to memorize a specific order, it could be thrown off by a key change, a lyrical choice or Drake getting you deep down in your feelings. Even if you are not distracted, a 2006 study measured the effect of tempo on cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Slow meditative music can get us to relax slowing booth your heart rate and breathing, but these study found that we are the most relaxed when there is a “silence”. So Silence wins?
Well if your goal is complete Zen relaxation while you write that final then yeah try silence. But again, this all depends on a lot of variables lyrics, tempo and genre have all been shown to have various effects on focus, mood and productivity. Anyway if you have a study-music playlist and its work for you then go for that, don’t worry much.
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