Whatever your musical tastes, a new study has found that listening to music is scientifically proven to make you feel good.
The research has revealed that the brain’s production of dopamine can be increased by as much as nine per cent when listening to you favourite tunes.
Often referred to as a ‘feel good’ chemical, the neurotransmitter was found to be released at times of peak enjoyment while listening to music by researchers at McGill University in Montreal.
The scientist scanned the brains of eight volunteers using both a PET scanner and a functional MRI scanner while they listened to different types of instrumental music.
Publishing their findings in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the study authors said that the research is a significant step to finding out why humans obtain pleasure from the medium.
Music psychologist, Dr Vicky Williamson from Goldsmiths College, University of London welcomed the paper telling the BBC that, while the research did not answer why music was so important to humans, it proved that it was.
“This paper shows that music is inextricably linked with our deepest reward systems.”
The study involved scanning the brains of eight volunteers over three sessions, using two different types of scan. For one session, volunteers listened to music that they highly enjoyed and during the other, they listened to music that they were neutral about.
Scans revealed that there was increased endogenous dopamine transmission when the participants were at their happiest. Conversely, when they were listening to music which did not evoke the same reaction, less dopamine was released.
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