Life Is Enhanced by the Right Sound Track

In a research project at the University of London, volunteers were asked to listen to 15-second snippets of music before judging the emotional content of faces. The results were remarkable — happy music caused the volunteers to judge the faces as happier, while sad music caused the volunteers to judge them as sadder. Interestingly, the emotionally charged music had the greatest effect when the faces were, in fact, emotionally neutral. “What surprises us,” said one of the researchers, “is that even 15 seconds of music can cause this effect.” The study recorded brain waves, which also showed that listening to music prior to a visual stimulation appears to prompt changes in the brain activation patterns that are usually not directly under our conscious control. In other words, we are much more moved by music than we know. …

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