The Structure of Your Brain Determines How Much You Like Musicadmin
Music is all about personal preference, or so it has always seemed. A new study, recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience, however, has found that it’s more likely the structure of your brain’s white matter that determines whether a song will make you cry or cringe.
According to IFLScience.com, researchers from the University of Barcelona and the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute were inspired to pursue this research while investigating musical anhedonia, a condition in which the sufferer feels no pleasure whatsoever when listening to music, despite being able to enjoy other rewarding stimuli.
The researchers recruited 38 volunteers, a third of which suffer from musical anhedonia, and used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the volunteers brains while they listened to classical music, focusing primarily on the white matter that connects certain areas of the auditory cortex with the brain’s reward center.
Participants were also asked to rate how much they enjoyed the music.
“Results showed that individual differences in the amount of pleasure derived from hearing music correlates with the level of connectivity between a part of the auditory cortex called the supratemporal auditory cortex and the ventral striatum, which forms part of the brain’s reward circuit,” Ben Taub writes. And those who suffered from musical anhedonia had less white matter connecting these regions of the brain that those who did not have the condition.
This explains “why there are specific anhedonia for specific stimulus like music but not for the other stimuli like games or food, which could have other applications for the understanding of several pathologies that are related to specific addictions or specific anhedonia for a certain stimulus,” study author Josep Marco-Pallares said in a statement.