Have you ever felt chonchon, or conversely, in a particularly happy mood, without really knowing why? I am neither a scientist nor a specialist in your moods, but it could well be that it is directly linked to a sound that you have perceived (or are in the process of perceiving)! Yes, certain noises particularly influence our brain, without us even realizing it.
Have you ever wondered why laughs were added in certain series (let’s face it, it’s still one of the things that didn’t age well in Sitcoms)? Well, that’s because the brain contains “mirror neurons,” which cause us to laugh when we hear another laugh. In the same vein, the quavering voice of someone moved or the sound of crying will tend to put us in a relatively close emotion. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH (I’m trying to make you laugh here. Make an effort. Respect your mirror neurons, a little).
2. The sound of rain
The soundtracks of “sound of rain”, presented as tools for meditation and relaxation, abound (I love this word, even if it sounds a lot like “pustule”) on the Internet. According to Dr. Emily Mendez for Marie-Claire, this soothing effect is linked to the “regular and predictable pattern” of rain. In this way, our brain processes sound as calming, non-threatening information. It is the “constant” aspect of the sound that allows you to relax. Rain rain rain rain. It’s better ? Personally, it just makes me want to pee.
3. The sound of water
… Makes you want to urinate (we’ll come back to this!)! Really. What Machiavellian being has never whispered “pssss pssssss pssssss” in the ear of the friend who could no longer restrain himself? Don’t lie, we’ve all done it (or experienced it). In fact, this is simply linked to the fact that, when we go to the toilet, the action of urinating is always accompanied by the sound of running water: either the urine itself, or the flush (commonly enough, both sounds, to be honest). Our brain therefore assimilates this sound information to relieving itself.
4. Nature sounds
According to a canadian study, listening to natural sounds (wind, birdsong, waterfall, etc.) would also have an impact on our stress, our sensitivity to pain, our mood, our creativity, our degree of happiness and our cognitive performance. ALL THAT, YEAH! What is this due to? The sounds of nature prove that all is well. Conversely, if the birds suddenly stop singing, this may indicate a threat. For our very distant prehistoric ancestors, hearing the sound of nature meant “no worries, here there is water and everything you need to survive”.
5. Babies cry
Infants initially have no means of verbal communication other than crying. Whether to attract attention, signify pain, discomfort, hunger,… Baby cries. Scientists from the psychology department of the University of Toronto (Canada) then tried to find out how these sobs were perceived by the brain of the parents. These sounds create a “cognitive conflict” in them, which automatically reduces their attention span. By attracting their attention, infants disrupt the executive functions of the adult brain, used in particular to make decisions. My own brain must be even less cordial, since in addition to distracting me, it tenses me up. Like a lot. Afterwards, I have to type myself 3 hours of playlist “the songs of Mother Nature”. Hello anxiety.
6. White noise
Scientifically, we are still unable to explain it, but it is a fact: “white noise” helps to fall asleep. By definition, white noise is “a realization of a random process in which the power spectral density is the same for all frequencies in the passband”. By browsing on YouTube, we find a great diversity. I might as well listen to a “white noise of the sound of the waves”, I can understand. As much, a “dishwasher noise”, well… I’m not here to judge, but understand my astonishment.
7. …and pink noise
White noise and pink noise are relatively similar. The big difference between the two is that the frequency of the roses is lower and more intense, giving a lower and deeper sound. Like white noise, it filters out annoying sounds and helps you fall asleep better. But that’s not all ! Studies have shown that pink noise has a positive impact on memory. By simulating delta waves during the deep sleep phase, they boost memorization.
Please note that this does not work equally for everyone. Everything will depend on the reception of each one.
If I speak to you very softly while scratching my microphone with my fingernails before spitting into it, I say…? Yes, ASMR! If this listening activity does not make everyone agree (you surprise me), for some it has soothing virtues, which can also approach a feeling of excitement. The scientists have, in fact, noted an increase in the levels of excitation and cutaneous conductance (the electrical activity at the surface of the skin). Since not everyone reacts to experience in the same way, it is called an “autonomous sensory response”. Conversely, for some, these auditory stimuli can cause tension.
Fireworks activate the “amygdala”, a small ball of nerves located in the brain. It is she, in particular, who perceives fear. The latter massively releases dopamine, a biochemical molecule that regulates pleasure and directly influences behavior. If the fear is regulated, the sound is not controlled and surprises. For some, these noises can generate (strong) anxiety and lead to insomnia.
10. Sad music about a sad person
Why listen to sad music when you’re sad? To whine more? Maybe… But not only! Melancholy melodies might be more comforting than happy tunes. According to one german study, this music regulates bad mood and emotions, while having a comforting effect. This is particularly linked to the feelings of empathy/compassion aroused by music, which have a liberating effect on the listener, but also to the cocktail of hormones released by the brain when listening to music. In particular, there are dopamine, serotonin and opioids: chemicals that relieve pain. Music imposes itself as an “understanding friend” who… OH STOP! WE ARE AT LES BISOUNOURS WHERE WHAT???