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Emotional Music Triggers Addictive Brain Activity

A Canadian research group has found the pleasure centers in the brain that respond to drug craving are also active when we listen to emotionally powerful music that gives us “chills” or “shivers-down-the-spine.”

Using two separate brain imaging tests the researchers examined subjects as they listened alternately to music that gave them chills and music that did not.

Using a PET scan, the researchers showed that music that caused chills led to a release of dopamine in the reward centers of the brain (mesolimbic striatum).

Using fMRI on the same subjects, they found that activation in these regions happens both during the experience of chills and while subjects are anticipating them.

Music, a mere sequence of notes arranged in time, can activate the same reward centers in the brain as drugs such as cocaine.

Source: Organization for Human Brain Mapping

Emotional Music Triggers Addictive Brain Activity

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Emotional Music Triggers Addictive Brain Activity. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2009/06/15/emotional-music-triggers-addictive-brain-activity/6521.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.