Listening to reggaeton causes more brain activity than classical music, study reveals

The brain activity that triggers reggaeton is much broader than that produced when interacting with classical music and other genres.

Not even all of Bach’s compositional complexity has the cognitive impact of J Balvin’s repetitive songs. Contrary to what the most educated musicologists in the academy might think, the reggaeton is much more stimulating than other more complex genres, which are held on an inaccessible cultural pedestal. For a team of scientists from the Canary Islands, the fact that this type of music is catchy it’s no coincidence.

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Not even electronic music generates a so powerful cognitive response. Reggaeton, for its part, is capable of activating all the brain regions responsible for processing sounds, movement and other cognitive abilities. According to a study carried out in Spain, even for people who they have no previous musical training, the effects are immediate.

For the research, a sample of 28 people with varied musical preferences was considered. On average, they were 26 years old. Before starting the tests, they were given hearing tests to determine your musical abilities. First, to discriminate melodies; later, to interpret rhythmic phrases.

Using MRIs, the way in which the participants’ brains reacted to different genders from which the letter had been removed was appreciated. In this way, they could interact with the music in its purest form. Clips of hits like Daddy Yankee’s “Shaky” were in stark contrast to snippets of Vivaldi’s pieces. When listening to reggaetón, brain looked much more stimulated than with other musical manifestations.

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Greater machinery

reggaetonPhoto: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via .

Not only reggaeton generated more neuronal activity than classical music. Some pieces of electronics turned on the motor regions too. However, compared to the first gender, the response was significantly lower. What really surprised the neurologists in charge of the study is that this genus activated the most primitive regions of the human brain.

With this, scientists realized that this type of music detonates larger machinery to process it. As it activates the motor regions of the brain, according to the coverage of the Los Angeles Times, this would explain why songs of this genre prompt people immediately to dance: “[…] that peculiar and repetitive rhythm will prepare us for movement, to dance just by listening to it ”.

The key is in repetition. Because music is so predictable, the The body can anticipate what is next and how it will end. Unlike classical music, which is almost by definition more complex, reggaeton has a marked rhythm that does not alter much throughout the song. This allows the brain deals with other regions more easily, without the need to interpret more elaborate compositional patterns.

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