Body, Mood Boosters

Music and the Brain

January 11, 2011

Thanks WebMD for publishing this timely article on the ‘happy’ buzz-like affect of music on the brain. Just today I was wondering how a simple song could have such a calming affect on me…. had to be the dopamine.

Listening to music may be pleasing to the ear as well as the body, according to a new study.

Researchers found that listening to music releases the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain and sends pleasure signals to the rest of the body. And the more pleasing the music is to the ear, the more intensely pleasurable the experience is for the body.

Dopamine is a chemical involved in the brain’s reward system and is usually associated with more tangible pleasures such as food, psychoactive drugs, and money.

“Our results provide, to the best of our knowledge, the first direct evidence that the intense pleasure experience when listening to music is associated with dopamine activity in the mesolimbic reward system,” write researcher Valorie Salimpoor of Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University in Quebec, Canada, and colleagues in Nature Neuroscience. “Our results help to explain why music is of such high value across all human societies.”

For the entire article click here.

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