Friday, July 31, 2009

"Over your head and got scared/Exactly what I figured you'd do" *

"As deep as any ocean/As sweet as any harmony" - Thomas Dolby, who understands the allure of a lady science nerd.

Once again, I force upon my darling readership a post about how the human body is pretty scientifically amazing and how I never tire of learning new things about it. (Bag me up 'cause I'm wifey material, sonnn.)

In today's episode of Let Me Blind You With My Science, I share with you all how closing your eyes when you're listening to scary music makes the the music even scarier, thanks to the most primal responses in your brain. Your brain waves are altered when you hear it, which translates to you runnin scurrred.

In a recent study about music and the brain that I was for some inexplicable reason NOT a part of, researchers had volunteers listen to scary music ("Hitchcock-like, frightening themes," because Asleep in the Caucasoid Bread Aisle was all sold out at Wal-Mart), and found that

closing one's eyes enhanced the responses the volunteers felt toward the more emotionally charged scary music. Brain scans revealed that activity ramped up in the amygdala, a primary center for emotion in the brain. In turn, the amygdala fired up brain regions linked with vigilance to the environment and regulation of emotion.

These findings were not seen when volunteers were placed in complete darkness with their eyes open. This suggests these effects are not related to vision alone. ("That is so interesting!!," me and a bunch of scientists said. "Nobody cares," said everybody else.)

'It seems when you close your eyes, your brain has this reflexive response to go into a different state of mind that results in the amplification of certain information,' (an author of the study) said.

I'm afraid of little, other than wack rappers and Republican administrations.

However, the fright instilled in me by a creepazoid 10/8 meter is truly beyond epic--and that is why I picked this instead of something by Gravediggaz, or Meth's classic "torture, motherfucker" descriptions from when were all so innocent back in '93. Aww.

mp3. - "Halloween Theme"

PS, did you guys know John Carpenter composed this? Is this common knowledge and I was out of the loop? I just found out and my whole life has changed. Next time I pick "Horror Film Writers/Directors Who Also Wrote the Theme Song to The Horror Films They Wrote/Directed" for $400 on Jeopardy!, I will straight murder it.

PS again, the science nerds found similar effects (though to a lesser degree) with positive music in the study--closing your eyes, they say, increases the degree to which you find it pleasurable.

In the future, a better understanding of how music can affect the brain could help lead to it enhancing therapies for mood disorders and other ailments. 'And if you want to use music for therapy, or just want to be more immersed in it, it seems you should close your eyes,' (an author of the study) said.

"No fucking way," I replied, while lying on my floor and listening to Black Caesar in my headphones with my eyes closed.

* '96.


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