Studies have shown that music can buoy your mood and fend off depression. It can also improve blood flow in ways similar to statins , lower your levels of stress-related hormones like cortisol and ease pain. Listening to music before an operation can even improve post-surgery outcomes. How can music do so much good? Innes coauthored a study that found music-listening could boost mood and well-being and improve stress-related measures in older adults suffering from cognitive decline.
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Music is a fundamental attribute of the human species. Virtually all cultures, from the most primitive to the most advanced, make music. It's been true through history, and it's true throughout an individual's lifespan. In tune or not, we humans sing and hum; in time or not, we clap and sway; in step or not, we dance and bounce. The human brain and nervous system are hard-wired to distinguish music from noise and to respond to rhythm and repetition, tones and tunes. Is this a biologic accident, or does it serve a purpose? It's not possible to say. Still, a varied group of studies suggests that music may enhance human health and performance.
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