Ever thought why do you feel so good while listening to your favorite piece of music? Reminds of something you have felt before? Well there is quite a big chance Canadian scientists just found the answer to all these questions of yours.
The article named “Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music” was just published on Nature Neuroscience and started spreading across the news portals.
Scientifically this is put in a short abstract:
Music, an abstract stimulus, can arouse feelings of euphoria and craving, similar to tangible rewards that involve the striatal dopaminergic system. Using the neurochemical specificity of [[SUP]11[/SUP]C]raclopride positron emission tomography scanning, combined with psychophysiological measures of autonomic nervous system activity, we found endogenous dopamine release in the striatum at peak emotional arousal during music listening. To examine the time course of dopamine release, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging with the same stimuli and listeners, and found a functional dissociation: the caudate was more involved during the anticipation and the nucleus accumbens was more involved during the experience of peak emotional responses to music. These results indicate that intense pleasure in response to music can lead to dopamine release in the striatal system. Notably, the anticipation of an abstract reward can result in dopamine release in an anatomical pathway distinct from that associated with the peak pleasure itself. Our results help to explain why music is of such high value across all human societies.
and I’d like to quote one of their conclusions:
According to Valorie N Salimpoor et al.
Thus, through complex cognitive mechanisms, humans are able to obtain pleasure from music, a highly abstract reward consisting of just a sequence of tones unfolding over time, which is comparable to the pleasure experienced from more basic biological stimuli.
One explanation for this phenomenon is that it is related to enhancement of emotions. The emotions induced by music are evoked, among other things, by temporal phenomena, such as expectations, delay,tension, resolution, prediction, surprise and anticipation.
The PET scan was performed on the test objects and there was a positive correlation between emotional arousal and intensity of chills detected. To be more precise the skin conductance, temperature, blood volume pulse amplitude, heart rate and respiration dependancies on the intenisty of chills were measured.
for those, interested, full article (quite scientific) is HERE
What does this mean for us, music listeners?
Well for one thing, no one can call you crazy anymore if you say that you ‘fell in love with this or that track’. Secondly to some extent the research puts a firm ground for the statement “tastes differ”, as different people had the similar reactions to different types of music.
The research in Layman’s terms can be found in the following thread. Please keep the discussion there as well
Image: “.:Tribute to music:.” by TraceLegacy