Loud music can affect memory and learning

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After two hours listening to loud noises, the rats suffered irreversible damage to brain cells; study suggests that the same can happen with children and young

Many teens like to listen to loud music, especially during the studies, a custom that has been criticized by parents through generations. Now, scientists  showed that the complaint of the parents is not pure annoyance: through an experiment with mice, they found that loud sound can affect memory and learning mechanisms of animal development.


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The work, published in the journal Brain Research, was conducted using mice aged between 15 and 30 days, which corresponds to an age range from 6 to 22 years in humans.

“We used rats because they have a nervous system similar to humans,” he told BBC World Laura Guelman, project coordinator and researcher at the Center for Pharmacological and Botanical Studies (Cefybo) at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).

Researchers animals exposed to intensities of noise between 95 and 97 decibels (dB) higher than the level as safe (70-80 dB), but below the intensity of sound producing, eg a concert (110 dB).

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Completed the experiment, they found that after two hours of exposure, the rats suffered irreversible damage in brain cells.

The researchers have been identified abnormalities in the area of the hippocampus, a region associated with the processes of memory and learning.

“This evidence suggests that the same could occur in human development, although it is difficult to prove, because we can not expose children to this kind of experience,” said Researcher.


It was already known that exposure to loud sound can cause hearing loss, cardiovascular and endocrine system (in addition to stress and irritability), but Guelman said it was the first time that such morphological alterations are detected in the brain.

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“One can assume from this finding that the noise levels to which children are exposed in the” ballads “or listening to loud music with headphones can lead to memory deficits and long-term care,” said professor and researcher at the Faculty of Medicine of the UBA.

One of the curiosities Relieved by the study is that, for children, a single exposure to loud noise can be more harmful than prolonged exposure.

During the experiment, two groups of mice were analyzed: the first was exposed only once to two hours and the second noise received the same stimulus, but once a day for two weeks.

After 15 days, the rats that had undergone a single exposure at the beginning of the experiment showed signs of damage more severe.

They attributed this fact to call “neural plasticity” that existed during the years of development, when the nervous system is still in formation.

“It is possible that stimulation of the brain no longer have time to repair such injuries,” said Guelman.


Although the study causes concern in a scenario where more and more children listen to loud music through digital devices and video games, Guelman alert to conclusions.



One can assume from the discovery that the noise levels to which young people are exposed in the “ballads” can lead to memory deficits



“The sound that we used for the experiment was white noise, a signal that contains all frequencies of sound, and is perceived as if it were the noise of a badly tuned TV,” researcher said.


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