Exploring Neural Responses to Persian Music: The Impact of Dastgah Homayoun on Non-Musician Brains — An fMRI Analysis

Written on 01/16/2024
PEMF Pharmacy

The article “Homayoun as a Persian Music Scale on Non-Musician’s Brain: an fMRI Study” by Farzaneh Pouladi, Habib Ganjgahi, Ali Zadehmohammadi, and Mohammad Ali Oghabian presents a detailed study of the effects of the Persian music scale Homayoun on the brains of non-musicians. It highlights how different parts of the brain are activated when listening to rhythmic and non-rhythmic versions of this music. The study is a fascinating insight into the cross-cultural aspects of music perception and its neurological effects.

For a comprehensive read, you can access the full article at the following link: Homayoun as a Persian Music Scale on Non-Musician’s Brain: an fMRI Study.

The study delves into the effects of Homayoun, a key scale in Persian classical music, on the brain activity of individuals with no musical training. Homayoun, which is comparable to the minor mode in Western music, serves as a focal point to understand how specific musical scales can influence neural responses in non-musicians. The research aims to uncover the unique ways in which this particular scale impacts brain function, offering new perspectives on the cognitive and emotional response to music.


The study involved 19 right-handed participants aged between 22 and 31. The experiment used pieces from Homayoun Dastgah in both rhythmic and non-rhythmic formats. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) was employed to capture brain activity in response to these stimuli.


The findings demonstrated distinct brain activities for both rhythmic and non-rhythmic versions of Homayoun Dastgah. Key areas of activation included the Subcallosal Cortex, Medial Frontal Cortex, Anterior Cingulate Gyrus, Frontal Pole for the non-rhythmic version, and the Precentral Gyrus, Precuneous Cortex, Anterior Supramarginal, Superior Parietal Lobule, and Postcentral Gyrus for the rhythmic version. Interestingly, the amygdala showed activation in response to both types of music.


The results indicate that non-rhythmic Homayoun primarily activates brain regions associated with emotion and cognition, consistent with Damasio’s somatic marker hypothesis. Conversely, rhythmic Homayoun engages areas related to movement and motor functions. This aligns with studies highlighting rhythm’s role in emotional induction and suggests cultural influences in music perception.

Article Info

  • Received: 10 August 2011
  • First Revision: 20 August 2011
  • Accepted: 8 September 2011
  • Published: Autumn 2011, Volume 3, Number 1


This study is pivotal in understanding the neuro-psychological impact of music, extending beyond Western classical music to include non-Western musical traditions. It underscores the universality of music’s impact on the human brain while also highlighting cultural variations in musical perception and emotional response.

By exploring the impact of a culturally specific music scale on non-musicians, the study provides insights into the fundamental nature of music perception and its neural correlates. It opens avenues for further research into the therapeutic and cognitive implications of music from diverse cultural backgrounds. This research is not only valuable for neuroscientists and psychologists but also for musicians and music therapists, offering a deeper understanding of the universal language of music and its profound impact on the human brain.