If You Get Chills when Listening to Music, You May Have a Unique Brain

Have you ever experienced a lump in your throat or chills when listening to quality music? If the answer is yes, according to Independent,  you are a special person.

Namely, people who experience goosebumps in their arms or legs are unique, a study suggests. Let us learn more about this amazing phenomenon.

The Effect of Music on Our Brain

Matthew Sachs, a graduate student, studied the impact of music on the brain at the University of Southern California. For the purposes of the study he included 20 students. 10 of them reported experiencing chills when they were listening to their favorite songs. After a participant listened to specific music they have chosen for themselves, the researchers made a comparison of the scans and discovered that the ones who reacted to music by getting goosebumps or chills may have a distinctive neurological structure.

They had higher level of neural connection between the auditory cortex, prefrontal cortex, and emotional-processing centers in the brain. Interestingly, the prefrontal cortex participates in higher levels of cognition, including the interpretation of a song’s meaning. So, it was concluded that the ones who react to music in this way may also feel in a stronger way than those who do not, regardless of whether they were listening to music or not.

However, Sachs claims that the study was rather small and that further research is needed (with more participants) in order to prove that those who connect with music in this way have a distinct biological perspective. In a follow-up research, he hopes to be able to learn more about what is going on a neurological level when we listen to music.

What Does Evolution Have to Say?

From an evolutionary point of view, chills are considered to be a response to danger and cold. Sachs explains that when we are threatened, our hair stands so it makes us look larger. And, some sounds; like high notes or falsettos, can do the same because they may remind us to a signal for distress.

When music is in the picture, the brain enters a “safe zone” and from worrisome, it enters into a pleasurable mode. Jessica Grahn, a neuroscientist from Canada, believes that we listen to music so much and enjoy it because it challenges our evolutionary reactions similarly to visiting a haunted house or watching a scary movie and provides entertainment at the same time.



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