Scientists have found that the human brain is able to "think out" a melody and perceive it as complete if it ends in a certain way. Thus, our brain tries to "predict the future." The same phenomenon, according to the researchers, concerns the thinking out of speech and other phenomena occurring in time.
By examining how the human brain processes the melody you hear, scientists from the Universities of Aarhus (Denmark), London (UK) and McMaster (Canada) were able to show that when a piece of music is incomplete or indefinite, the human brain automatically predicts the ending of the melody.
That is, in fact, experts have found that the brain is capable of providing foresight for the future. Before that, it was believed that our brain evaluates musical melodies only after the fact, but is not able to "predict" how they will end. The research is published in the journal Psychological Science.
It included two experiments involving 38 and 31 people, respectively. In the first, they listened to Bach's choral melodies. At the same time, participants could pause or restart music by pressing the space bar on the keyboard. Then the volunteers were tested on how well they remember tunes. As a result, the participants listened more closely to the sounds.
In the second experiment, the subjects listened to the same pieces of music and then rated how complete they sounded. It turned out that people considered melodies ending in high-entropy tones as fuller and held their attention longer. Based on this, the scientists concluded that the human brain evaluates completeness in approximately the same way when it comes to language, movements or other processes: it automatically thinks out the end of this or that "plot" in our life.