A recent study by researchers at McGill University found that when you listen to music, both sides of your brain are involved in processing the song. Researchers have long known that humans can instantly separate the lyrics from the melody. Now they know why!
The study showed that an area on the right side of a person’s brain can decode the melodic content but not the lyrics while an area of the left side of the brain decodes the lyrics but not the melody. This is according to Robert Zatorre, a professor at McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Institute.
The study involved 49 people who had an MRI scanner monitor their brain activity while they listened to song fragments. The brain activity showed that people decode music using two specialized areas of the brain. One area on the left side and one area on the right. Researchers will next try to understand how the brain combines the dual streams of information to create a coherent listening experience.