—The most recent research in neuroscience shows
that the human brain “deconstructs” music patterns and then
takes the elements of that “deconstruction” in order to store
them in the brain’s multiple memory locations. The retrieval of
memory from these multiple neural circuits is required in
order to reconstruct in our mind the representation of those
music patterns. The smoothness of this process is heavily
dependent on repeated use of the same neural circuits for the
similar, if not the same purposes. Increased smoothness also
increases the emotional reward system and we have a
pleasurable listening experience. This smoothness can also be
defined in terms of fulfilled expectations of what might happen.
One of the reasons why the human brain searches for
previously identified and processed patterns is that such
patterns can be very quickly reconstructed from the data
stored in the brain's long-term memory. Then that
reconstruction can be compared with similar incoming
information, giving it the most pragmatic interpretation that
fits the situation at hand. So the function of memory is to
ignore irrelevant details, while preserving the gist. This could
be “good” or “bad” music but it can more importantly be
related to the survival of the species in terms of “friend or foe.”
—Music, brain, cognition, processing.
Mladen Milicevicis with the Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles,
USA (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite:Mladen Milicevic and Loyola Marymount, "Music and Brain Today," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 3, no. 5, pp. 453-456, 2013.