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Harvard Study: If Music Gives You Goosebumps, You Have a Unique Brain

Scientific study tests effects music has on the human body

 on 26th December 2017 @ 10.30am
does music give you goosebumps  you might be special © Neon Nettle / Press
Does music give you goosebumps? You might be special

A Harvard University study has found that people who get goosebumps from listening to certain music may have a unique brain.

Scientists carried out a research project by testing the reactions of people to certain songs to see what made their hairs stand on end, if at all.

Former Harvard undergraduate, Matthew Sachs studied a group of individuals who get "chills" from listening to music to discover what it was that triggered this feeling.

The study examined 20 people, half of whom admitted to experiencing the chills when listening to certain music, with the other half claiming to have never experienced those feelings.

Researchers then took brain scans of all of them all before, during and after listening to hair-raising music and compared the results.

Independent reports: He discovered that those that had managed to make the emotional and physical attachment to music actually have different brain structures than those that don't.

The research showed that they tended to have a denser volume of fibers that connect their auditory cortex and areas that process emotions, meaning the two can communicate better.

Sachs's findings have been published in Oxford Academic but he is quoted by Neuroscience as saying: 

"The idea being that more fibers and increased efficiency between two regions means that you have more efficient processing between them."

This means if you do get chills from music you are more likely to have stronger and more intense emotions.

Plus these sensations can also be associated with memories linked to a certain song, which cannot be controlled in a laboratory setting.

Although the study was only small in size Sachs is currently conducting further research which will look at the brains activity when listening to songs that register certain reactions.

By doing so he hopes to learn what neurologically causes these reactions and could actually tap into treatment for psychological disorders.

"Depression causes an inability to experience pleasure of everyday things. 

"You could use music with a therapist to explore feelings."

tags: Music | Science
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