• Amy B

11 issues music can solve


Music is a splendid thing. It can cheer you up when you're sad, make you dance like a fool, and allow you to drown out the world when you need to. But music has its scientific uses, too. There is a documentary Active Inside that details how dementia patients react positively when given iPods filled with their old favorite songs. The music seems to help them "come alive" again. "Music imprints itself on the brain deeper than any other human experience," says neurologist Oliver Sacks, who appears in the film. "Music evokes emotion, and emotion can bring with it memory." Some other things music can do:

*Babies born too early often require exteneded stays in the hospital to help them gain weight and strength. To help facilitate this process, many hospitals turn to music - according to a Canadian research center, playing music to premies reduced their pain levels and encouraged better feeding habits, which in turn helped with weight-gain. Using musical instruments to mimic the soudns of a mother's heartbeat and womb to lull premature infants to sleep - this calming music reduces the amount of energy expended.

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