I have NEVER loved technology so much. My now habitual (and vaguely Pavlov-esque) response to this little life hack is spectacular. I switch from FIRE-BREATHING DRAGON to DANCING LUNATIC in seconds. This article from the Greater Good Science Centre explains the magic of music.
Music impacts us in ways that other sounds don’t, and for years now, scientists have been wondering why. Now they are finally beginning to find some answers. Using fMRI technology, they’re discovering why music can inspire such strong feelings and bind us so tightly to other people.
“Music affects deep emotional centers in the brain, “ says Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University who studies the brain on music. “A single sound tone is not really pleasurable in itself; but if these sounds are organised over time in some sort of arrangement, it’s amazingly powerful.”
How powerful? In one of her studies, she and her colleagues hooked up participants to an fMRI machine and recorded their brain activity as they listened to a favorite piece of music. During peak emotional moments in the songs identified by the listeners, dopamine was released in the nucleus accumbens, a structure deep within the older part of our human brain.
“That’s a big deal, because dopamine is released with biological rewards, like eating and sex, for example,” says Salimpoor. “It’s also released with drugs that are very powerful and addictive, like cocaine or amphetamines.”
While it’s not always possible to squeeze in a cheeky shag (sorry husband), the magic of music is at your fingertips all day, every day. Why not use it?