Hypothesizing Music Intervention Enhances Brain Functional Connectivity Involving Dopaminergic Recruitment: Common Neuro-correlates to Abusable Drugs

Kenneth Blum, Thomas Simpatico, Marcelo Febo, Chris Rodriquez, Kristina Dushaj, Mona Li, Eric R. Braverman, Zsolt Demetrovics, Marlene Oscar-Berman, Rajendra D. Badgaiyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

The goal of this review is to explore the clinical significance of music listening on neuroplasticity and dopaminergic activation by understanding the role of music therapy in addictive behavior treatment. fMRI data has shown that music listening intensely modifies mesolimbic structural changes responsible for reward processing (e.g., nucleus accumbens [NAc]) and may control the emotional stimuli’s effect on autonomic and physiological responses (e.g., hypothalamus). Music listening has been proven to induce the endorphinergic response blocked by naloxone, a common opioid antagonist. NAc opioid transmission is linked to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine release. There are remarkable commonalities between listening to music and the effect of drugs on mesolimbic dopaminergic activation. It has been found that musical training before the age of 7 results in changes in white-matter connectivity, protecting carriers with low dopaminergic function (DRD2A1 allele, etc.) from poor decision-making, reward dependence, and impulsivity. In this article, we briefly review a few studies on the neurochemical effects of music and propose that these findings are relevant to the positive clinical findings observed in the literature. We hypothesize that music intervention enhances brain white matter plasticity through dopaminergic recruitment and that more research is needed to explore the efficacy of these therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3753-3758
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Volume54
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Brain white matter
  • Cognition
  • Dopaminergic recruitment
  • Impulsivity
  • Music therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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