We all know that listening to music has a special effect on us, but there is now scientific proof that there are special nerve cells that are directly tied to processing music. Very cool.
A new study has discovered that the human brain contains a collection of nerve cells that are dedicated to processing the sound of music. The discovery contradicts the widely accepted theory that musical appreciation is merely a byproduct of our human ability to hear and distinguish between different sounds.
The study, conducted by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology and published last week in the online journal Neuron, made its fascinating conclusions by analysing brain scans of participants as they listened to music, speech and other everyday sounds, such as footsteps or a ringing phone. The results showed that a specific area of the auditory cortex of the brain was only stimulated by music, while another area was dedicated to the understanding of speech. The implications of the findings are profound, suggesting that not only does musical aptitude and understanding have a specific seat within the brain, but that music may have played a crucial role in the evolution of the human nervous system.