There is a popular adage that says that music is the language of the soul. People listen to music, and it can change their mood, change their state of mind, and even bring back memories. Music is more powerful than you may think. Some people get attached to the words to a song. Music touches different people in different ways.
In 2016, a group of researchers published a study exploring how different people react to music. The people involved in the study were authors, Matthew E. Sachs, Robert J. Ellis, Psyche Loui, and Gottfried Schlaug. They titled the paper, “Brain connectivity reflects human aesthetic response to music.” The following June, the authors published their work in a journal called Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
The way that people react to music varies greatly. One people could feel incredibly intense about hearing music, while others barely feel anything at all. The reason for this is a bit hazy. The authors decided to find the answer to these questions. They claim that the art form was a perfect topic for the study, considering how significant music is in many people’s lives. The researchers believe that music is often said to be one of the most enjoyable human experiences, which is the main reason they focused their study around music.
The team gathered a group of 20 participants. They had each participant listen to music. Fifty percent of the subjects admitted to feeling chills in their bodies when hearing the music. The researchers wanted to know why this happened to half of the participants, but the other half wasn’t moved in the same way and didn’t experience the same reaction. This led them to want to study the subjects’ brains.
Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)
To gain a better understanding, the researchers decided to scan the subjects’ brains using a process known as Diffusion Tensor Imaging. This imaging can wow that white matter connectivity between different regions of the brain actually hears the music. For some, it is the social processing portion of the brain that responds to the music. For those who experienced the chills tended to process the music emotionally.
A social worker named Esther Heerema wrote a piece for a website called Verywell Health. In her article, she elaborated on the analogy. She wrote, Think of a brain as a computer system, and it might be easier to understand. The gray matter, or nerve cells, of our brain is the computer while the white matter is the cables that connect everything together and transmit signals.
The brain is a complicated organ, and no two brains are the same. The shape, size, and the amount of white matter in the head vary from person to person. According to the study, the amount of white matter present in a person’s brain has a lot to do with how they experience music. The volume of white matter is correlated with the tendency to experience chills when hearing music. The more white matter and connectivity, the more you will get the chills.
Not Only Applying To Music
According to the study, samples taken from the same group did not only apply to music. They believe that the findings point to something even more significant. The researchers believe that people with more white matter tend to feel more powerful emotions in general. Not only when music is playing.
William Griffith, the Texas A&M College of Medicine head of neuroscience and experimental therapeutics professor, strong emotions are associated with adrenaline. He believes that the rise in adrenaline can increase the heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. If music can increase your production of adrenaline, it can change all of your body functions. Tests have been run on animal subjects first to test this theory, and later, this theory was tested on humans.
Listen To Music
If you get goosebumps when listening to music, the symptom could be a sign that you’re different. You could have more white matter present in your brain than others. Do people tell you that you are an emotional person? Do people ask you to relax often because your emotions get the best of you? This is also a sign that you have more white matter in your brain than those around you. The researchers in this study have found that it isn’t just music that the amount of white matter affects. It can change who you are as a person and how you react to certain situations. If you hear a particular song that gives you goosebumps, but not others, it could be due to the memories that the song has brought up, and what these memories do to you. This is when the adrenaline takes over.