5 Ways Dubstep Is Messing With Your Brain

Try this great STEAM lesson that combines the Arts with STEM learning. Students are very passionate about their music, this article and lesson will help students understand the scientific reasons why they lose themselves in their favorite songs.


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1. Dubstep Is Good For Your Health

Dubstep music increases levels of Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is located in the body's central nervous system, which has positive influences on the brain cells controlling mood, memory, appetite, learning and sleep functions. Dubstep's low frequency sound waves enter your ear and convert into vibrations that send electrical signals that travel through the vestibulocochlear nerve and into your brain. Dubstep's excitement factor and build up to the drop affect the fifty million brain cells connected to your body's levels of serotonin. Health problems like anxiety or depression are a result of low levels of serotonin, spazzing out to a Skrillex track sends a steep rise in these levels, which serves as a remedy for mood and sleep disorders.

2. Dubstep Gets You High

Listening to dubstep is pretty much almost the same thing as taking drugs, no seriously. Dubstep activates pleasure and reward-related regions of the brain called the Dopamine system. Dopamine is a hormone and neurotransmitter that sends signals from our brain to other parts of the body. Dopamine affects our pleasure and reward-motivated behavior, but extreme dopamine activity can lead to addiction, yikes. Dopamine is mostly studied for the way its signals react to drugs like cocaine or amphetamine. But dopamine is important for more than just drugs, it's also important for natural rewards like food, sports and even that feeling you get when you see a pretty girl walking down the street. Scientists have also found that the "chills" people get when listening to dubstep music was correlated with dopamine signals in this area of the body. So the next time the hair on your neck stands up from a sick bass drop, just know its Datsik running through your veins.

3. Dubstep Brings Out Your Animal Instincts

This just gives the terms party animal or beasting a whole new meaning. Researchers working at UCLA think they've determined why humans respond so strongly to dubstep as a stimulus. It's because dissonance in dubstep music mimics distress cries in wild animals, which strikes a chord (pun intended) with our deep-seeded animal instincts. Dissonance in music are disruptive tones or what we hear as sharp, piercing noises. These sounds that add chaos to a dubstep production are similar to the sounds made by animals when they are crying or in danger. A team of scientists working with composers have found that the aural characteristics of the cries of distressed animals captures human attention and have an effect on our emotions when hearing certain sounds. So the next time you see a guy howling at a rave, you might want to take a couple steps back.

4. Dubstep Will Make You Flunk Exams

Teachers and parents are gonna love this one. University of Wisconsin physiologists conducted a study measuring the effects of classical music vs. dubstep music on students while taking a reading comprehension test. The results found that reading comprehension performance was positively affected by classical music and negatively affected by dubstep music. The tests used to measure cognitive ability were practice SAT reading comprehension tests. Analysis of the data collected revealed that there is significant effect of music genre on reading comprehension test scores. So if you're the type that likes to blast their music while studying, make sure its some bass heavy Bach or Beethoven.

5. Dubstep Turns You Into Consumer Zombies

We already learned that dubstep induces heightened sensations and drug-like experiences. What we didn't discuss yet is how hypnotic it can be and how it puts us in a trance-like state. Dubstep is a communication tool that allows each person in a crowd of 100,000 to feel connected and understand a language they cannot articulate, this makes an imprint on your brain and becomes part of your identity. Television advertisers realize this and are using dubstep in their commercials as a way to use the dubstep sound to persuade you to purchase their products. As in all television ads, the product is presented as something you have to have. But with the added element of your favorite dubstep track, the products in these ads are projecting the idea that they are also part of your personal identity. The advertisers hope that consumers will identify with their product like some identify with dubstep cultures, and hope their product gives you an experience that is just as powerful as the music. Without the accompaniment of dubstep, these products would not stand out to you, but with the guidance of dubstep they gain more appeal and importance. So the next time you buy laundry detergent, make sure its because you haven't washed your jeans in three weeks and not because Diplo said so.

Lesson Plan

Try this science experiment and writing exercise with your students.

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Lesson tags: Eighth, Eleventh, Music, Ninth, Science, Seventh, Sixth, Tenth, Twelfth

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The NuSkool Team The NuSkool editing team is made up of highly qualified educators, researchers and pop culture experts. The team works collaboratively to critically deconstruct pop culture and find the teachable moments in all forms of media and entertainment.