The magic of the music seems to light the way. music-brain
JOHN LENNON, Intuition

It mightn’t be Lennon’s music that ‘lights your way’ but there is a 99% chance that some sequence of musical sounds will.

Music is right up there with sex and eating as one of life’s greatest pleasures. 

Music can motivate you, inspire you, bring you spiritual relief and release your deepest emotions.

And researchers say that music can ‘light your way’
to paying more in stores!

In the latest issue of Science, Salimpoor, neuroscientist at McGill University in Montreal, says that music also activates the amygdala, which is involved with processing emotion, abstract decision-making and our deepest instincts of survival.

Even imagining music brings about changes in your brain. Think of the first four notes of your national anthem. The auditory cortex in your brain immediately lights up! Your brain is buzzes with sensations of patriotism, sports events and memories happy and sad as music triggers the body’s reward system and releases the “pleasure chemical” dopamine.

No wonder we respond to music so much!

And music works on us without us being aware of it.

Music can make us pay more for goods.

Salimpor and his associates found in their research that the songs triggering the strongest response from both emotional and intellectual parts of the brain correlated with a willingness to pay more.

Participants listened to the first 30 seconds of songs they have never heard before but would probably like while lying in an fMRI imager as the scientists monitored their brains. Then, to provide some sort of objective measure of to what extent the subjects actually liked each piece of music, they were asked how much they’d pay to buy the whole thing, from zero up to $2. (Want more details?)

And it turns out that they would pay more for songs that triggered the strongest response from both the emotional and intellectual parts of the brain – even after only 30 seconds.

And the message for all of us from this?

If you recognize something about the pattern in the music and think you know how the rest will go, hold on to your wallet! Your brain will respond without you being aware of it and you will be emotionally inclined to buy and maybe even pay more than you intended.


Read more about Improving your Brain and check out your skills when remembering without words.

For more brain training, visit the Memory Foundation. Dr. Allison Lamont and Gillian Eadie have a mission: they want to help as many people aged 50+ to build brain resilience as a buffer against memory loss in the future. Why not give brain training a try? It’s the best non-prescription protection against dementia, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise.


If you’d like to help someone else with this article, please share it on Twitter