Stress is everywhere. From paying bills on time to meeting important deadlines at work - acceptable stress levels motivate you to get tasks done. But too much stress - and for too long - can lead to detrimental health effects, both mental and physical. In this post, we'll explore the effect of stress on the immune system and how music can reduce the impact of unhealthy stress on the immune system.
The concept of specific songs or genres for sleep are not only practical for parents and newborns, but also for adults without children. We explore what makes the perfect lullaby, and how these concepts apply to helping people of all ages have a better night's rest, with some musical accompaniment.
From beating drums to enter a trance, to calling troops into battle with a trumpet cry – music has long ushered communities to a common purpose. These days, the study of its function is centered on the workplace, where music can be used to boost productivity by aiding concentration, fostering team spirit and improving employee morale. The Sync Project looks at how functional music is finally coming of age.
“Elevator music” or “muzak”: two different names for the same cheesy background tracks we all love to say we hate. But have you ever wondered where the names come from? The Sync Blog explores the history of functional music and where music companies, powered by the latest research, may take this idea far beyond its origins
Music classification is now less about genre and more about mood, with listeners often building their digital playlists for a specific occasion or activity. It’s music with a purpose – or functional music – and it promises to get even more interesting as scientific inquiry comes into play. The Sync Project muses on what could happen next…
Familiar with the so-called "Mozart effect" study, which showed evidence of children having improved performance in a cognitive task after listening to Mozart? Later studies have confirmed that music can in fact enhance cognitive functioning, and that these effects are by no means restricted to Mozart, or even to classical music for that matter. But how early on in children’s lives we can start to see these benefits? Recently, a group of researchers arranged a music intervention for nine-months-olds to see whether music training might support language learning in babies. Read more about the fascinating findings of the study in this post.
Music automatically moves us. Even if you are sitting absolutely still, your motor cortex is still active when you listen to music. This special link between movement and sound is thought to have been around since music began. It has been proposed that through its capacity to synchronize movements of individuals, music made it possible for us to cooperate more efficiently and thereby survive as a species. Music can therefore be thought of as an inherently social phenomenon, and as something that exists to move us in synchrony, in order to help us bond.
Why and how might music offer relief to patients suffering from disorders of consciousness and their families?
As the population ages, people are working for more years before retirement. At the same time, the cognitive requirements of the work we do are increasing. Are our brains up for the challenge? Could music offer an easy, enjoyable way to combat cognitive decline associated with normal aging?
Despite awareness of its importance for overall wellbeing, some people honestly dislike exercise. Recently, scientists investigated whether music as well as music videos could be used to alter people’s emotional responses during exercise, perhaps making that dreaded treadmill workout feel slightly less terrible. The question is intriguing: could you actually trick your brain into liking exercise with the help of music?
As we wrote in an earlier post, if scent has a hotline to memory, music has a hotline to emotions. Owing to this power that music has on influencing our emotions, music is routinely used to alter people’s feelings (something called musical mood induction) in scientific experiments that wish to look at the effects of different feelings on, for example, behavior. This tight link between music and emotion, and emotion and cognition in general, may in part even account for the effects on performance that people experience after listening to music, such as improved focus, or even better sports performance.