We all know that moment when we’re in the car, at a concert or even sitting on the sofa and one of our favorite songs is played. It is that which has that really Good chords in it, flood your system with happy emotions, happy memories, make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and even make you shiver or “chill”;. About half of people experience chills when listening to music. French-based neuroscientists have now used EEGs to associate chills with many brain regions involved in activating the reward and pleasure systems. Results are published in Borders in neuroscience.
Thibault Chabin and colleagues at the Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté in Besançon scanned the brain EEGs of 18 French people, who often experience chills listening to their favorite music. In a questionnaire, they were asked to indicate when they felt a chill and to rate their pleasure level from them.
“Our study participants were able to accurately pinpoint” chilling “moments in songs, but most of the music chills occurred in parts of the excerpt, says Chabin. and not just in moments of anticipation.
When participants felt chills, the turbine saw specific electrical activity in the anterior cortex (an area involved in emotional processing), the additional motor region (the area between the brain involved in motion control. ) and the right temporal lobe (upper right area of the brain involved in hearing processing and music perception). These regions work together to process music, activate the brain’s rewarding system, and release dopamine – a “feel good” hormone and neurotransmitter. Combined with this interesting prediction of your favorite part of the song, this creates the feeling of chills you experience – a physiological response that is thought to indicate more cortical connectivity.
“The fact that we can measure this phenomenon with an EEG offers research opportunities in other contexts, in more natural situations, and in groups,” says Turbine. “This represents a good point of view for the study of musical emotions.”
EEG is a high-precision, non-invasive technique that scans the electrical currents caused by brain activity using sensors placed on the scalp surface. When experiencing music-induced chills, low frequency electrical signals are called “theta activity” —a type of activity that involves successful memory performance in the context of high rewards and appreciation. musical elevation – increase or decrease in brain areas involved in music processing.
“In contrast to heavy neural imaging techniques like PET scan or fMRI, classical EEG can be transferred out of the lab into natural scenarios,” said Turbine. “The most intriguing thing is that music does not seem to have any biological benefit to us. However, the implications of dopamine and the reward system in the handling of musical pleasure indicate an ancestral function. with music. “
This ancestor’s function may lie in the time we spend predicting the “spine-chilling” part of music. As we wait, our brains are busy predicting the future and releasing dopamine. To be able to predict what will happen next, figuratively, is essential for survival.
Why should we continue to study chills?
“We wanted to measure how the brain and physiological activities of many participants were combined in the natural and social music scene,” said Chabin. “Musical joy is a very interesting phenomenon that deserves more research, to understand why music is useful and to open up why music is necessary in human life.”
How is the study done:
The study was performed on 18 healthy participants – 11 women and 7 men. Participants were selected through posters on the campus and university hospital. They have an average age of 40 years old, are sensitive to musical rewards and often experience chills. They have a wide range of musical abilities.
A high-density EEG scan was performed when participants listened for 15 minutes for 90 seconds excerpts of their most interesting tracks. While listening, participants were asked to rate their feelings of interest subjectively and indicate when they felt a “chill”. In total, 305 chills were reported, each lasting an average of 8.75 seconds. These findings imply increased brain activity in regions previously associated with musical pleasure in the PET and fMRI studies.
The brain’s favorite music
Borders in neuroscience (Year 2020). DOI: 10.3389 / fnins.2020.565815, www.frontiersin.org/articles/1… ins.2020.565815 / full
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