Research

Body in Tune: Music and the Immune System

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.

Functional Music Comes of Age

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.

All the Way Up: Time To Change Our Tune Towards Elevator Music?

“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

Where To Next For Functional Music?

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… 

Music Enriches The Language Learning Environment

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.

Sync With Others to Feel Closer

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.

Music Can Help You Enjoy Exercise

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?

Music Offers Solace in Sadness

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.