Home> Archive> 2024> Volume 14, Number 2, 2024
IJSSH 2024 Vol.14(2): 73-78
doi: 10.18178/ijssh.2024.14.2.1196

The Neuroscience of Music Processing and Music Interventions for Mental Illness

Nicole Liao

University of Chicago, IL, USA
Email: nicole.jy0425@gmail.com
Manuscript received September 18, 2023; revised November 2, 2023; accepted December 25, 2023; published April 18, 2024.

Abstract—Growing research on music and language processing in recent years has simultaneously enabled us to understand its uses and promise in therapeutic settings. This review used recently published peer-reviewed literature to study the neurobiology of music processing, which includes the auditory processing hierarchy and engagement with language processes. Results showed that music has an impact on emotion systems, particularly the reward pathway and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis. Furthermore, listening to music or music therapy for the treatment of psychiatric and neurological diseases demonstrated effectiveness in improving patient outcomes. Overall, music processing is a sophisticated process with some similarities to language processing. Future randomized controlled trials are required to shed light on the neurocognitive aspect of music processing. 

Keywords—music processing, music therapy, emotion, psychiatric disorders, neurological disorders, stress


Cite: Nicole Liao, "The Neuroscience of Music Processing and Music Interventions for Mental Illness," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 73-78, 2024.

Copyright © 2024 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).


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