“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…”
Getting goose bumps or a lump in your throat while listening to music is relatively rare, research finds.
It could be an indication that your brain is unique, according to recent research that examined how the feeling of chills is triggered.
People who feel chills from music have an enhanced ability to feel emotions.
This could be down to a structural difference in the brain.
If you assumed everyone could feel the same chills you do, then think again, write the researchers:
“Although these emotion and reward systems are found in all humans, not everyone experiences intense emotional responses to music…
…some individuals report being unable to experience pleasure from music despite normal responses to other rewards (e.g. monetary rewards).”
For some, though, the experience is intense, they write:
“Individuals tend to report a complex array of bodily and mental sensations while listening to music, such as the feeling of a lump in the throat, feeling moved and the experience of chills: the tingling sensation on the scalp, back of the neck and spine that is often accompanied by goose bumps.”
Brain scans of 20 students, half of whom said they experienced chills, revealed denser structures in fibres that connect the auditory cortex to the brain’s emotional centres.
Mr Matthew Sachs, the study’s first author said:
“The idea being that more fibers and increased efficiency between two regions means that you have more efficient processing between them.”
Alissa Der Sarkissian, who is a friend of Mr Sachs, described the chills she gets from music like this:
“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,”
The study was published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (Sachs et al., 2016).
Hello, and welcome to PsyBlog. Thanks for dropping by.
This site is all about scientific research into how the mind works.
It’s mostly written by psychologist and author, Dr Jeremy Dean.
I try to dig up fascinating studies that tell us something about what it means to be human.