What it Means When Music Gives You Chillsadmin
The song “Nude” by Radiohead is a special song for Alissa Der Sarkissian.
“I sort of feel that my breathing is going with the song, my heart is beating slower and I’m feeling just more aware of the song – both the emotions of the song and my body’s response to it,” she explained. It was this sensation that prompted her to investigate this phenomenon with friend and USC PhD student Matthew Sachs, IFLScience.com reported.
Their research, which was published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, found that people who get chills in reaction to music “have more fibers connecting their auditory cortex to brain areas associated with emotional processing,” Tom Hale wrote. “This lets the two areas communicate better and means that people who get the chills experience intense emotions differently from those who don’t.”
While there doesn’t appear to be any type of evolutionary advantage to this phenomenon, the discovery could have philosophical implications.
“Together, the present results may informa scientific as well as philosophical theories on the evolutionary origins of human aesthetics, specifically of music: perhaps one of the reasons why music is a cross-culturally indispensible artifact is that it appeals directly through an auditory channel to emotional and social processing centers of the human brain,” the study concludes.
Learn more about this study on USC’s podcast.