Music On The Brain

Music has a powerful effect that can change the world. As humans, we use music for many different purposes. We seek entertainment by going to concerts. Find joy in listening to a song or album that we particularly like. Music can also help us in ways we need. Who hasn’t cried to a good break-up song when you feel as if your heart has been ripped out of your chest?

Music helps get us through all of our problems and helps make life a little more tolerable.

Studying With Music

As a college student I find myself constantly listening to softer music when I am studying. It helps me put away the distractions. All over campus you will see students with headphones on, listening to music, trying their best to concentrate.

Have you ever noticed listening to music will help you relax and reduce stress? This can be a big plus when studying for a test, or finishing some big project that’s coming up.

The Mozart Effect

The Mozart Effect is a popular theory, that suggests that music can enhance your cognitive abilities. The effects can change depending on the person and type of music they are listening to. For many people listening to heavy metal won’t be ideal when studying but others enjoy loud and noisy music to help them concentrate.

I suggest more indie or classical musical. It relaxes you and can really get you in the zone for some studying.

The Brain and Music

In your brain you have your cerebellum. This is considered the mini brain because it breaks down the initial sensory stimulus. The stimuli then goes to the thalamus which interrogates the signals for any signs of danger. It does this by communicating with the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center, for stored historical sound/danger associations. The thalamus links to the amygdala to initiate an emotional response, e.g. fear if a danger signal is detected or tranquility if the signal is familiar. The amygdala works out how one feels about the sight of someone brandishing a knife compared to the sight of puppies. It is through this same interaction between the low-level and high-level processing units that the brain categorizes sound into music. 

Playlists for Studying

Here are some tunes on Spotify that might help you get that A.

https://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/0PRs1Xaui4zCv9LdIIt20X

https://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/37i9dQZF1DX8Uebhn9wzrS

https://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/37i9dQZF1DWXLeA8Omikj7

 

Cranberry Juice: The Only Line of Attack Against Infection

When I interviewed U of U Junior, Kaitelynne, and her roommates, Ladonne and Kielie, they lounged around their downtown apartment. Several advanced chemical engineering textbooks rested on their coffee table.

When I asked about her grades, Kaitelynne shrugged modestly. “A’s, mostly. Those don’t help with basic wellbeing, though.”

Questionable Education Rendering Women Ill (Seriously)

Like most women who were both adolescents in Utah and sexually active later in life, Kaitelynne has a common malady. “Every woman I know–every one–has had a urinary tract infection at some point,” she says. Ladonne and Kielie nodded, and your journalist is not an exception, unfortunately.

“No one told me I should pee after sex,” she told me. “We spent three weeks on sex ed when I was 15 years old. They didn’t tell the gals that one extremely helpful tip.”

Utah’s sex ed is certainly not winning gold stars. This is, after all, the state in which senator John Valentine made the slightly queasy claim that “[sex education] should not be taught in our schools! Those things should be taught in the home.”*

(Picture of John Valentine by Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

“It’s funny, because it could literally kill me. And other women,” Kaitelynne said. “I can make a car engine. Literally. I could take a bucket of pipecleaners and some gasoline and make a combustion engine. But I didn’t know that women should have a post-coitus wee.”

What To Do Next

Kaitelynne confessed that she can’t stop rushing to the bathroom, and it constantly feels as though her kidneys are on fire. “I have no health care, I can’t afford a doctor visit or medication, and I’m constantly in pain,” she admitted. “But I can afford cranberry juice. I have six dollars.”

The beverage, costing roughly three dollars for half a gallon (a bargain!), can supposedly lessen UTI symptoms. Rather than sweet, sweet antibiotics, Kaitelynne takes only juice and optimism, the great American cure-all.

Recognizing the importance of solidarity, Ladonne and Kielie set up a gofundme for Kaitelynne. It has currently raised four dollars, enough for only more cranberry juice.

Image result for cranberry juice

(Picture of “medicine” by Organicfacts.net)

“Hey, there’s nothing else we can do,” Kaitelynne says, before excusing herself to use the restroom yet again.

–Sarah

*John Oliver. “Sex Education”, Last Week Tonight. Timestamp 6:27. Watch Here.