Feel like getting high and/or down and dirty, but don’t necessarily have the means to do either?
Scientists suggest cranking up your favourite tune.
New research has revealed that the part of the brain responsible for producing feelings of pleasure through sex, recreational drugs and delicious food is also stimulated while listening to your favourite music.
In other words, there’s a reason sex, drugs and rock n’ roll is such an appealing combo.
Among 17 test subjects, scientists temporarily blocked the natural opioid substances produced by sex, drugs and good eatin’. The subjects were then played their favourite music.
“The impressions our participants shared with us after the experiment were fascinating,” said Dr. Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist at McGill University in Canada.
“One said: ‘I know this is my favourite song but it doesn’t feel like it usually does’.
“Another admitted: ‘It sounds pretty, but it’s not doing anything for me’.”
Levitin said this is the first time scientists have been able to conclusively prove that opioids in the brain are “directly involved in musical pleasure”.
Since various activities that stimulate this brain system (drinking, gambling, sex, etc.) can lead to addictive behaviors, the scientists hope this new research will help inform new ways to treat addiction.
In the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers say that music’s ability to impact human emotion so strongly suggests we have evolved to enjoy it. They write that their findings “add to the growing body of evidence for the evolutionary biological substrates of music.”
h/t The Independent