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If you want to exercise your brain, listen to music.
“There are few things that stimulate the brain the way music does,” says one Johns Hopkins otolaryngologist.
“If you want to keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, listening to or playing music is a great tool.
An exhilarating orchestral crescendo can bring tears to our eyes and send shivers down our spines.
Background swells add emotive punch to movies and TV shows.Much research has been done already in the domain of musical arousal and emotions, but several questions are still matters of debate.In order to discuss these questions, this Research Topic focuses on five major domains which revolve mainly around the lower functions of the brain: (i) the dispositional machinery to react to sounds and music with contributions from human and animal studies and with special emphasis on the evolutionary and comparative approach, (ii) the role of instinctive behaviour in relation to sound and music with special emphasis on the ethological approach, (iii) collecting the most recent finding about subcortical processing of sound and music with contributions from neuroscience, and (iv) the relationship between the lower and the higher level functioning of the brain with a special focus on the modulatory role of cortical functions on lower level reactions as arousal, emotion, and reward, and (v) music and pleasure.Articles of interest include, but are not limited to, those discussing research themes such as arousal, emotion and affect, musical emotions as core emotions, biological groundings of aesthetic experiences in general and as related to music, music-related pleasure and reward centres in the brain, physiological reactions to music, automatically triggered affective reactions to sound and music, the relation between emotion and cognition, evolutionary sources of musical sensitivity, affective neuroscience, neuro-affective foundations of musical appreciation, the relation between cognition and affect in general and as related to music, the mechanisms behind emotional and motor induction in music, brain stem reflexes to sound and music, activity changes in core emotion networks as triggered by dealing with music, and potential clinical and medical-therapeutic applications and implications of this knowledge.Keywords: music, arousal, emotions, pleasure, subcortical processing, lower functions of the brain Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements.Music is a vibrational event that impinges upon the body and the brain.As such, it can induce bodily and psychological reactions that rely on innate dispositions and acquired mechanisms for coping with the sounds.You may not be aware of it, but your brain has to do a lot of computing to make sense of it,” notes one otolaryngologist.When 13 older adults took piano lessons, their attention, memory and problem-solving abilities improved, along with their moods and quality of life.You don’t have to become a pro, just take a few lessons.The power of music isn’t limited to interesting research.