A Study Confirms: Your Favorite Song Can Send Your Brain Into Pleasure Overload

Not only your favorite music can change your mood, but it can also send your brain into ‘pleasure overload’.

A recent study has suggested that listening to your favorite music can affect various parts of your brain. Scientists from the University of Bourgogne Franche-Comte scanned the brains of 20 people. These people said that they get chills while listening to their favorite music. The results of the study were amazing.

The Study ‘Cortical Patterns of Pleasurable Music Chills’ published by High-Density EEG revealed:

  • Music can elicit positive feelings in people by activating the reward system of the brain. As group emotional dynamics is the major concern of social neurosciences, the interest in emotions in natural and ecological conditions is increasing. The study tried to show that high-density EEG can indicate patterns of cerebral activities determined by PET and fMRI scans.
  • The high-density EEG was used to record 18 participants (7 male and 11 female) while listening to their favorite music. The high-density EEG showed an increased theta activity in the prefrontal cortex when emotional ratings were increased.

There were two types of pattern chills identified. The first one was an increased theta activity in the central region of the brain. This activity could reflect motor area activation during chills. The second one was a decreased theta activity in the temporal region, which could reflect the activity of the superior temporal gyrus.

The results of the study indicated that high-density EEG was a reliable method for the examination of musical pleasure through musical reward processing.

The participants of the study had listened to 100 pieces of their favorite music for 15 minutes.

According to MedicalXpress, the participants of the study could indicate the moments in the songs which produced chills. In other words, when they experienced chills, there was a specific electrical activity in the brain’s orbitofrontal region, the right temporal lobe, and the supplementary motor area.

These regions function together to process music, stimulate the reward system of the brain and release dopamine, a neurotransmitter and ‘feel-good’ hormone.

The fact that scientists can measure this phenomenon represents a great perspective for musical research. The results of the study suggest that music has an important role in our lives.

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