Mental Health 2 MIN READ

The Science Behind ‘Brain Music’

Ultrahuman partnered with Evoked Response to understand the science behind how different kinds of beats impact the human body. So, we created ‘brain music’

Written by Team Ultrahuman

Oct 14, 2022

Various journals and research papers have spoken about the impact of music on the human brain. We, at Ultrahuman, take pride in being a knowledge-first holistic health platform, and when it came to adding music for productivity, relaxation, focus, sleep etc on our platform, we decided to take the route less traveled!

We partnered with Evoked Response to understand the science behind how different kinds of beats impact the human body. So, we created ‘brain music’ – a series of playlists that help listeners relax, focus, increase their productivity, etc. Brain music has been curated using the technique of ‘Musical Phase Locking’.
Let’s understand it a bit further.

What is musical Phase Locking?

Different areas of the brain correspond with each other through electrical activity called neuronal oscillations. These oscillations can be seen as a ‘middle man’ linking individual neuron activity to behavior or cognition. When we hear music, the rhythms and beats in music cause corresponding ‘electrical beat’ or ‘artificial neuronal oscillations’ in the brain.

The brain networks now get on to processing these oscillations and reach more efficient ‘low-energy’ states by synchronizing to the beat. This is when our brain literally beats to the same drum and where networks become more organized. This is called Neural Phase Locking or musical phase locking.

How does it impact you?

Musical phase locking is proven to be useful in several ways:
1. Our mental states can be altered by aligning neuronal oscillations to a different rhythmic stream – from stress to relaxation, from sad to happy!
2. Musical Phase Locking makes it easier to think harder and thus increases our focus and productivity! To understand the science behind this further, click here.
3. It has been shown to increase memory consolidation during sleep.

What kind of music can cause Musical Phase Locking?

For music to reliably cause Musical or Neural Phase Locking, it must be:

  1. Richly textured, providing a broad frequency spectrum as this will act as a carrier for the neural stimulation.
  2. Every instrument must be quantized to predetermined dominant rhythms that adhere to the meter and BPM of the music. Quantization involves synchronizing the phase of notes to a chosen beat.
  3. The duty cycle of all instruments–the attack, decay, sustain and release (ADSR)–must also be synchronized between instruments, within a margin of error. For example, the attack of a violin is often very different from that of a guitar.

Some ‘brain music’ recommendations

Now that we’ve simplified the science behind brain music, we would love for you to give some of our playlists a try! All the tracks have been included after a rigorous scientific testing process. In fact, the testing cycle never ends! Along with the team at Evoked Response, we are constantly testing new tracks and new methodologies.

Here are a few playlists you can start with:

Brain Music Productivity 1
Focus brain music 2
Unwind brain music

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