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Experiencing Musical “Chills”

Have you experienced getting goosebumps from a certain part of the song that you’ve heard? It may be a certain pitch, a certain reverb, or a certain tune that would move you to tears or would make you laugh or would send shivers down your spine. This is emotional arousal through music. Through this study, the researchers proved that these chills were real, although this experience is won’t work for everyone.

In their research titled, “The Rewarding Aspects of Music Listening Are Related to Degree of Emotional Arousal,” Valorie N. Salimpoor and company stated that:

The intensity of pleasure experienced from music listening has lead some researchers to suggest that it may act upon the dopamine reward system of the brain, which is implicated in processing highly rewarding stimuli such as cocaine and amphetamines, food, and playing videogames. The assumption that music may also involve this system is largely based on brain imaging findings that have found increasing blood flow or oxygenation to striatal regions of the brain that are implicated in reward…
Assessment of emotional responses to music, particularly the ability for music to induce highly pleasurable feelings, has become a topic of interest to music researchers with practical implications for music composition, therapy, and marketing. The present data provide a direct link between emotions and pleasure in music listening, and reveal new avenues for research to examine whether strongly felt emotions can be rewarding in themselves in the absence of a physically tangible reward or a specific functional goal.

See more of this study at plos.org

Via Futility Closet

(Image Credit: Malte Wingen / Unsplash)


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