Everyone has felt chills up their spine when listening to a piece of music. Scientists have now unraveled a couple of theories behind why music has such an indisputable ability to trigger powerful emotions:Brains react to music like a drug A Team of Canadian researchers suggest that when we are moved by music, our brains behave as if reacting to delicious food, psychoactive drugs, or money. The pleasure experience is driven by the “reward” chemical dopamine, which has been linked to addiction. It produces physical effects known as “chills” that cause changes in the skin’s electrical conductance, heart rate, breathing and temperature. The research seems to suggest that dopamine release is greatest when listeners had a strong emotional response to music. The scientists reported that their findings provide “neurochemical evidence that intense emotional responses to music involve ancient reward circuitry and serve as a starting point for more detailed investigations of the biological substrates that underlie abstract forms of pleasure.”
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