Do you ever hear the rhythmic sound of a drum, harmonica or string of strings on a guitar that sends you pleasant spines to your spine? Well, in that case, you might have a special brain.
Alissa Der Sarkissian, a science fellow at the Institute of Brain & Creativity at the University of Southern California (USC), noted this strange feeling while listening to the Radiohead band Nude
“I have the feeling that breathing follows the song, my heart is slower and I’m just more aware of the song – and the emotions of the song and my body response to her,” she explained.
Der Sarkissian was still studying at Hardvard studying this phenomenon with his friend Matthew Sachs, a PhD in the USC. They wanted to see how the brain activity differed between those who had trunce as a reaction to music and those who did not.
Research, published last year in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, has revealed that people who have spine in the spine have more fiber linking their auditory cortex with brain areas associated with treating emotions. This allows for better communication between these two regions and means that people with trnce have a different experience of intense emotion than those who do not have.
“The idea that more fiber and increased efficiency between the two regions means that you have more effective processing between them,” Sachs explained.
This is a particularly unusual phenomenon for neuroscience and psychologists because there is no clear evolutionary advantage that would be appreciated by music to this stage. But the discovery could potentially explain this deep philosophical question.
“Together, current results can inform scientific, as well as philosophical theories about the evolutionary origin of human aesthetics, especially music: perhaps one of the reasons why music is an indispensable artifacts through culture is what directly appeals to centers for processing emotional and social information in brain through the audit channel, “the authors concluded in the study.
If you are interested in this topic, check out the USC podcast about this research and the unusual connection of music, emotion, and brain.