Music’s Deep Dive: The Emotional Elixir We’ve Overlooked Neuroscience News

Summary: Researchers have found that intense focus on music produces powerful emotional responses with therapeutic benefits.

This study looked at participants in the Listen Up experience by Project Indigo. Participants listened to music in a dimly lit studio, which elicited a range of emotional responses.

This deep musical immersion was not just pure enjoyment. They were seen as cathartic journeys leading to a state of calm.

Key facts:

  1. Focusing deeply on music can evoke a range of emotions, both negative and positive.
  2. The Listen Up experience involves listening to music in a dimly lit studio for about 50 minutes.
  3. Participants described their immersive music sessions as exhilarating, ending in a sense of calm and relaxation.

Source: James Cook University

New research published inMusicae ScientiaeIt shows that people who focus deeply on music can have strong emotional responses across the full range of emotions, which can have significant therapeutic benefits.

Dr Amanda Krause, lecturer in psychology at James Cook University, led the study. Most daily music listening is combined with other activities, he said, and it is less common for listening to be the main activity that takes up most of one’s attention.

But in the Listen Up experience, run by the Indigo Project, a mental health organization in Sydney, people go into a studio where the lights are dimmed and lie on cushions and mats and about 50 They listen to music for a minute. .

The researchers interviewed nearly 190 participants and analyzed their responses.

Study co-author Dr Madelyn Pardon, from JCUs, said people experienced improved mood and reduced levels of stress and arousal after taking part. But it wasn’t just about people enjoying the music.

We found people’s emotional responses ranged from negative, positive, uplifting and expressive to sad.

Some people reported the experience as emotionally challenging, therapeutic and physically uncomfortable, Dr. Pardon said.

Participants described their experiences as a cathartic journey that resulted in a positive, peaceful, and relaxed state, the researchers said.

Our research provides evidence for the emotional and psychological health benefits of focused music listening. This type of listening is unusual in today’s music landscape and provides opportunities for meaningful experiences, Dr. Krause said.

People may find that they can better manage their health by learning to use music-focused listening techniques to supplement their usual, everyday listening practices, he said.

About this news research of music and emotion

the writer: Madeleine Pardon
Source: James Cook University
Audience: Madeleine Pardon James Cook University
Image: This image is credited to Neuroscience News

Main research: Free access.
Listening: A Case Study of Focused Listening by Madelyn Pardon et al. Musicae Scientiae


Listening: A case study of focused listening

Nowadays, listening to music is often accompanied by other activities. It is much less common for listening to be the main activity that gets most of one’s attention. In this paper, we present a case study,listenrun by Project Indigo, a mental health organization in Sydney, Australia, in which we examined relationships between participants’ responses to experience and demographics and styles of engagement with music.

A sample of 187 Australian residents (ages 2,064) who participated in Listen Up completed a survey to measure music engagement. emotional responses to experience; Perceived outcomes of the meeting; pre- and post-measures of stress, mood and anxiety; and free-text responses to questions about their experiences of mindful listening and any thoughts or feelings that arose during the session.

After participating in Listen Up, participants experienced improved mood and decreased levels of stress and arousal. Their focused listening experiences were not characterized by simply enjoying the music. Rather, the emotions evoked were diverse and complex.

We described their emotional responses as negative, positive, arousing, expressive, and sad. Additionally, participants described their experiences as a cathartic journey that leads to a positive, peaceful, and relaxed state.

Results reported from participation in Listen Up include experiences described as emotionally challenging, therapeutic, and physically uncomfortable. The emotional engagement style of music was positively related to arousing, expressive, and sad emotional experiences and therapeutic outcomes.

As a focused listening experience, Listen Up gives participants the opportunity to not only pay attention to the music, but also to reflect and process their own personal thoughts and feelings.

This research provides evidence for the emotional and psychological health benefits of focused music listening, with focused listening reflecting opportunities for powerful experiences with music in today’s listening landscape.

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