Your favourite music can send your mind into pleasure overload: Study – art and culture


Everyone knows when our favourite song is played in a car or at a concert, it fills us with pleasurable emotion, gives us joyful memories and even send a shiver or chill down to our backbone.

Approximately half of people get chills when listening to music. Neuroscientists based in France have now used electroencephalogram (EEG) to link chills to a couple of mind regions involved in activating reward and pleasure systems.

The results were published in Frontiers in Neuroscience.

Thibault Chabin and colleagues at the Universite de Bourgogne Franche-Comte in Besancon EEG-scanned the brains of 18 vinaigrette participants who ceaselessly experience chills when listening to their favourite musical pieces. In a questionnaire, they were asked to denote when they experienced chills, and rate their degree of pleasure from them.

“Participants of our study were in a position to exactly indicate “chill-producing” moments in the songs, but most musical chills occurred in many parts of the extracts and not only in the predicted moments,” said Chabin.

When the participants experienced a chill, Chabin saw particular electrical activity in the orbitofrontal cortex (a region involved in emotional processing), the supplementary motor area (a mid-brain region involved in movement keep an eye on) and the correct temporal lobe (a region on the correct side of the mind involved in auditory processing and musical appreciation). These regions work together to process music, trigger the mind’s reward systems, and release dopamine — a “feel-good” hormone and neurotransmitter. Combined with the pleasurable anticipation of your favourite a part of the song, this produces the tingly chill you experience — a physiological response thought to denote greater cortical connectivity.

“The truth that we will be able to measure this phenomenon with EEG brings opportunities for study in other contexts, in scenarios that are more natural and inside groups,” Chabin commented. “This represents a good perspective for musical emotion research.”

EEG is a non-invasive, highly accurate mastery that scans for electrical currents caused by mind activity the usage of sensors placed across the surface of the scalp. When experiencing musical chills, low frequency electrical signals called ‘theta activity’ — a kind of activity associated with successful reminiscence performance in the context of high rewards and musical appreciation — either increase or decrease in the mind regions that are involved in musical processing.

“Opposite to heavy neuroimaging techniques such as PET scan or fMRI, classic EEG can also be transported outdoor of the lab into naturalistic scenarios,” said Chabin.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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