If music gives you goosebumps, your brain might be special

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Do you ever get that feeling when listening to a great song that makes all the hairs on your arm stand on end?

Personally this writer can remember getting chills when listening to 'Whole Lotta Love' by Led Zeppelin on the number 9 bus from Stourbridge when he was 16.

Matthew Sachs, a former undergraduate at Harvard, conducted a study in 2016 looking at individuals who get chills from music to see how this feeling was triggered.

The research examined 20 students, 10 of whom admitted to experiencing the aforementioned feelings in relation to music, and 10 who didn't. He took brain scans of all of them all.

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 fibres that connect their auditory cortex and areas that process emotions, meaning the two can communicate better.

Sachs's findings have been published on Oxford Academic and he is quoted by Neurosciencein 2017 as saying:

The idea being that more fibres 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.

In further research, Sachs said 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.

Fascinating stuff.

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