The effect of music on our brain



30 November 2018 a symposium about music in relation to the brain was held, rganized by the Leiden Insititue of Brain and Cognition and the town of Leiden.

A lot of interesting questions were answerd that day, such as:

  • Why does music have the ability to move us, cheer us up or irritate us?
  • Why do we feel a compulsion to move or sway when we hear music? Are we the only species that feel this compulsion?
  • On what does Spotify base the suggestions we get?


There were also musical performances to stimulate brain activity. The famous Calefax together with scientist Rebecca Schaefer made use of monitoring tools to monitor brain activity to track what music does to our brain. During lunch break there were many other musical performances to be enjoyed. In conclusion the Dutch Sign Language Choir performed a couple of songs. They got a standing ovation, hands up in the air. With the words "Music is for everybody, Rebecca Schaefer concluded this succesful day.

Continue reading the full report (only in Dutch)