Music has the incredible power to illicit a reaction from your body, sending a rush of euphoria and chills down your spine anytime your favorite song comes on the radio. For those lucky enough to be musically inclined, that feeling is topped by few others.
It’s now being reported that there’s a scientific explanation for those chills running up and down your spine. Alissa Der Sarkissian, a research assistant at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Brain and Creativity Institute felt this way while listening to Radiohead. She explained, “I sort of feel that my breathing is going with the song, my heart is beating slower and I’m feeling just more aware of the song — both the emotions of the song and my body’s response to it.”
For those that get these chills, congratulations, you have a special and unique brain. The report, published in journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, found that people who get chills up and down their spine while listening to music “have more fibers connecting their auditory cortex to brain areas associated with emotional processing. This lets the two areas communicate better and means that people who get the chills experience intense emotions differently from those who don’t.”
Essentially, the increased amount of fibers means a more powerful processing power between the two regions of the brain, which accounts for the incredible rush while listening to music.
Der Sarkissian, a student at Harvard at the time of the study, coauthored this report along with Matthew Sachs, a PhD student at USC at the time, and together, they concluded “the present results may inform scientific as well as philosophical theories on the evolutionary origins of human aesthetics, specifically of music: perhaps one of the reasons why music is a cross-culturally indispensable artifact is that it appeals directly through an auditory channel to emotional and social processing centers of the human brain.”
Via IFL Science!