Some may read this headline and think, "Of course music helps reduce stress, that's obvious." But we're not here to just accept things for the way they are. As humans, we always want to know why and how things happen. Sure, you may go to a concert and leave with a sense of euphoria, but why? It may be because you had a release of energy that was searching for an outlet or the experience simply had a profound effect on you. With that being said, it's an interesting phenomenon that begs to be understood in more detail.
Music has an interesting effect on the brain and dozens of studies have attempted to further understand this unique connection. Now a recent study decided to approach the research in a more specific and uncommon way, by conducting the experiment in a public setting with live music.
For this study, 117 volunteers were selected to attend a concert featuring the music of composer Eric Whitacre. The volunteers ranged from those who had attended 100 concerts in a year to those who had not been to a concert in more than 6 months. Others were skilled musicians while the rest were not considered to possess any musical skill.
The result of the study was truly remarkable as all participants experienced a drop in glucocorticoids and reduced levels of cortisol and cortisone, chemicals commonly used to measure the stress of an individual. (A separate study found that taking MDMA increased cortisol and cortisone)
The author of the research remarked, "This is the first preliminary evidence that attending a cultural event can have an impact on endocrine activity."
With the wide range of participants in the study, researchers suggest that the findings prove "a universal response to concert attendance among audience members."
This study is indeed promising, but more research is still needed to understand music's effect on humans, especially when dealing with other musical genres.
[via: Medical News Today]