Music fans who experience sensations like a lump in the throat or goose bumps when listening to music have different brain structures than those that don’t, a study has found.
In research published on Oxford Academic, former Harvard undergraduate Matthew Sachs examined 20 students last year, half of whom described experiencing those feelings when listening to music.
Sachs took brain scans of all of the participants and found that those who made emotional and physical attachments to music tended to have a denser volume of fibres connecting their auditory cortex and the areas that process emotions.
Speaking about the findings to Neuroscience, Sachs said: ‘More fibers and increased efficiency between two regions means that you have more efficient processing between them.’
People who experience chills from music are therefore more likely to have stronger and more intense emotions as the two regions are able to communicate better.
Sachs hopes that further research will be able to determine what causes these reactions neurologically, and provide potential treatment for psychological disorders.
‘Depression causes an inability to experience pleasure of everyday things. You could use music with a therapist to explore feelings,’ he said.