zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Can Music Affect Your Reflexes?

by
author image Alexis Jenkins
Alexis Jenkins writes to motivate others in areas of health including nutrition, fitness training and improving lifestyle choices. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in health science from Brigham Young University-Idaho.
Can Music Affect Your Reflexes?
Listening to music might play a factor in improving reflexes. Photo Credit girl listening to music image by Tammy Mobley from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Music is the art of organizing tones, rhythms, tempos in a successive combination to create melodies and harmonies. Historically, music has played an integral part in many cultures. Music may stimulate certain hormones in the brain and body that promotes feelings of excitement, motivation, peace and serenity, depending on the variety of music. Additionally, music may play a part in the manner by which a person responds to stimulus in his surrounding environment.

Defining Reflexes

Reflexes are involuntary movements that your body performs without consciously choosing to do so. Reflexes are usually provoked by environmental stimuli such as pulling your hand away from a hot stove or reaching to catch a ball that has been thrown to you. Reflexes are controlled by the brain, and nervous system as messages from the brain quickly move through the nerves and into the muscles to perform specific functions.

Cause

In an article published in Neonatal Network: The Journal of Neonatal Nursing, June Kaminski, MSN explains that music can stimulate the release of hormones such as endorphins and phenylethylamine and trigger neural impulses. Endorphins increase heart rate, constrict blood vessels to increase blood pressure and may help the brain to focus more clearly and help you become more alert to your surrounding environment.

Effects

In a 1984 study published in the Russian science journal Zh Vyssh Nerv Deiat Im I P Pavlova, research was done to test the effect that classical and variety music had on motor reaction time and its relationship to different parts of the brain. The study showed that, in general, music quickened response time and that the influence of variety music was much more effective than that of the classical music. The study also showed that response time was shorter when stimuli was present in the left visual field, controlled by the right side of the brain, than when stimuli was present in the right visual field, controlled by the left side of the brain.

Benefits

A study published in the Sport Psychologist in March 2009 by Bishop, Karageorghis and Kinrade tested the heart rate, affective responses and the reaction time of 54 tennis players who listened to selected music that differed in tempo and intensity. The results showed that faster music elicited more pleasant and aroused emotional states in the athletes. The researchers suggested that playing music as part of a pre-event routine when warming up and preparing for a game could improve overall athletic performance.

Expert Insight

Elizabeth Miles holds a master's degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of California Los Angeles. In her book “Tune Your Brain,” Miles explains that music is key in orchestrating functions between the brain and the body. “From enhancing spatial awareness and cognitive function to quickening reflexes, circulating blood and oxygen through the body, sycnhronizing motor maps in the mind, and easing stress and performance nerves, the right music can provide the edge for academic and athletic success,” she says.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.