It was 1994 and for the first time two scientists, Gordon Shaw and Frances Rausher, stated that music could have beneficial effects on brain and cognitive functions. This study was published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature and created an instant sensation. In fact, the two scientists observed that listening to music, and in particular to the Sonata for two pianos in D major of Mozart, K 448, was able to improve the spatial-temporal reasoning. The topic is still debated, some studies agree with the results of Shaw and Rausher, while other studies disprove these results. But beyond the Mozart effect the fact that music has effects on body but especially on mind is clear.
According to a study indeed carried out in 2008 by a Japanese team of the Department of Education, University of Nara (Fukui et al, Med Hypothese, 2008), listening to music promotes neurogenesis, the regeneration and the repair of cerebral nerves through the regulation of steroid hormones and the improvement of cerebral plasticity from fetus to adulthood, by acting also on elderly. Music modifies and adjusts the levels of these hormones, such as cortisol, testosterone and estrogens whose action on nervous system is well known, in fact they act on memory, stress, cognitive function and brain development. Finally, according to the same study, music soothes anxiety and tensions. Other studies are required in order to explain better the mechanism that connects music and brain but it is a great result because music is universal, doesn’t have any collateral effects and you can listen to music whenever you want.