A new study published by the Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience indicates that humans and birds respond to songs the same way. The researchers at Emory University found that the brains of both birds and humans allow them to appreciate the beauty of songs.
Researchers knew that music activates the mesolimbic reward pathway in humans, but they were surprised to learn that birds also had their own response to songs. Although the scientists involved in the study point out that further research is needed, the current project has already revealed the strong impact songs have on the brain.
Understanding why and how people react to music has puzzled many researchers for decades. One of the questions continues to be if a music center exists in the human brain. It seems that there is not a central location. Instead, different parts of the brain are involved at the same time while listening to music. The love of music may also be hereditary and would explain why one family may have several musicians. The Morris Brothers Store is a perfect example of how a passion for music can keep a family business going for many years. There are also indications that some people may simply be hardwired to enjoy music more than others.
Previous research has found that memory, music and emotions are all connected in the brain. This explains why some songs can produce strong reactions in people. It is clear that music is a powerful force that will continue to be researched.