Music is powerful. It connects people from all around the world and can invoke any emotions that it wants in people. However, music doesn’t just stop with swaying your feelings. Along with that, it can even influence how you feel physically, and science has proven that.
Some people have felt sensations from music that others never have. Do you get chills when listening to music? If so, you’re truly special.
Feeling the Music
Although it may be more significant to some people than to others, music is still a big part of everyone’s lives. Even before we had a name for it, people were singing and humming tunes, just trying to entertain themselves and others. Now, music comes in many different forms and is constantly expanding.
As we mentioned earlier, some people are more strongly influenced by the sounds that they hear than others. Have you ever found yourself listening intently to a song, then when the song changes, you suddenly feel chills across your body? You may have even get goosebumps to accompany it.
If this happens to you, then your brain is special. Researchers have recently shown why and how music can have this effect on people. However, it doesn’t happen to everyone.
The Study Behind It
A study was recently conducted by Matthew Sachs, a graduate student at the University of California. His aim was to study the effect that music has on the brain. Along with that, he wanted to see how those effects differ from person to person. The study consisted of 20 participants. Each of them was given the task of listening to their favorite songs.
Half of them reported that they got chills from listening to their songs of choice, whereas the other 10 did not. To find out why this difference occurred, the researchers then took brain scans of all the participants.
What they found was that those who reported feeling chills had a much higher number of neural connections between their auditory cortex, emotional processing centers, and prefrontal cortex. To put that simply, the prefrontal cortex is what helps people to interpret the meaning of a song. This means that the people who felt chills had a deeper emotional understanding of what they were listening to.
What Kind of Music Causes This Effect?
William Halimou, an undergraduate student at Oberlin College, has recently written a paper on this strange phenomenon. As he puts it, “Music-induced chills are a form of frisson in that they consist of involuntary shivers and tingles down the back and arms (sometimes even other areas) and goosebumps, accompanied by positive feelings.”
Halimou didn’t just want to stop with the questions of “why,” however. He also wanted to investigate further into what kind of music produced this sensation in people. According to Halimou, however, there is no one answer. He said, “From my research so far, it seems that chill-inducing music is very personal and varies across individuals. However, one study by Grewe et al. did observe that musical passages containing new or unexpected harmonies or sudden dynamic or textural changes evoked shivers the most.”
The next time that you’re listening to music, pay attention to how your body feels. If you experience chills from it, it’s because you have the ability to connect emotionally to what you’re listening to. That’s not a skill that everyone is lucky enough to possess. So, if you have it, then enjoy it.
Share this article with your friends and find out whether they get chills from listening to music.