From an evolutionary perspective, excessive optimism is generally a bad idea. After all, if you're constantly assuming good things will happen, you'll probably be ill-prepared when bad things inevitably come along. Now scientists have an explanation...which isn't exactly flattering to the eternally optimistic.
From the perspective of neuroscience, listening to music is one of the most complex things you can do. Many parts of your brain have to work together to comprehend even the simplest tune. So what is music really doing to our minds?
On September 13, 1848, an accidental explosion drove a meter-long iron rod through the skull of Vermont railway worker Phineas Gage. Incredibly, Gage survived, but the lingering side-effects provided science its first clues about how the brain affects our personality.