If you’re a person who experience goosebumps while listening to music, this new research claims that you’re not only in touch with your feelings, but your brain may be pretty unique.
The scientific team from the University of Southern California did brain scans of 20 student participants, half of who had quite strong reactions to music and the other half who didn’t.
Research Finds a Unique Neurological Structure in One Group
After all of the participants listened to some self-chosen music piece, the researchers compared their brain scans. They concluded that the ones who reacted to the music in a heightened manner also had a distinctive neurological structure.
Namely, the people who had chills had higher amount of neurological fibers that links their auditory cortex with the emotion-processing part of the brain.
According to Matthew Sachs, co-author of the study, more fibers and higher efficiency between these two areas means effective processing between the two.
Consequently, Sachs also explains that the people who experienced goosebumps while listening to music may experience their feelings more intensely than those who don’t, no matter if they’re listening to music or not.
The assistant of the research, Alissa Der Sarkissian, believes that her body changes entirely when she listens to a song by Radiohead, that is, Nude.
She explains that her breathing goes with the song, her heart slows down, and she’s becoming more aware of the song and of her emotions and how her body responds to it.
Strong Basis for Further Research on Music Influence on the Brain
Sachs studies neuroscience and psychology at USC and he believes that these findings may encourage further research that will test the impact of music on the brain outside of the auditory cortex.
A recent study done by University of York and Bang & Olufsen discovered that music may be pivotal in helping people easily manage their emotions.
Dr. Hauke Eegermann who’s a neuroscientist tested the responses of 20 participants to 4 songs and concluded that listening to the ‘sad’ songs may actually better people’s mood.
These findings show that music is a pivotal part of our mental wellbeing and participates in our mood regulation.