Surely you ever happen to be listening to a piece of music and get excited. For example, I clearly remember when I saw the movie Pretty Woman and at one point in the same Julia Roberts going to the opera to see "La Traviata" and at the end of the work, the lady who was sitting next to her asked, "Did you like it? "to which she replies excitedly" I almost peed in her pants. " The music of "La Traviata" is beautiful, myself each time I hear it I feel a great emotion and do not think it's the only one this happens.

Well, a group of researchers led by Robert Zatorre, and included Valorie Salimpoor, Mitchel Benovoy, Kevin Larcher and Alain Dagher, Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill Unviersidad, Canada, investigated the effect of listening to your music favorite in the brain.

Investigated the effect of music on brain reward systems. To do this they recruited 10 volunteers (5 men and 5 women) aged more than 200 applicants to participate in this study. The common point among all the volunteers selected was that they had to ruffle the hair every time you hear your favorite music without getting tired of it. After selecting the subject, proceeded to take their brain imaging using positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). With PTSD can assess the activity of the dopaminergic system, which is a key component of reward systems, and the RMF can be located in a space-time regions that are activated. During the experiment, each volunteer will put your favorite music and favorite music on any other volunteer. In this way they could assess the difference of the dopaminergic system when they heard that special music that shook them, compared to just listen to some music that did not produce the same emotional effect.

What was the outcome?

Well, the results were conclusive. The subjects showed more emotion felt in the pieces they had chosen over the other parts. This correlated with an increase in heart rate response, breathing and sweating. Similarly, the functional imaging analysis showed a significant increase in dopamine release during exposure to your favorite music. Not only that, but the study found that there were areas of the brain called the caudate nucleus in which dopamine is released just before the part of the music they produced the emotional climax, and other brain regions as the nucleus accumbens in which dopamine is released during the musical climax.

This is a great finding because, according to the authors, this is the first evidence that the intense pleasure produced music is associated with the release of dopamine in the mesolimbic reward system. If we think carefully about this is doubly surprising because this system evolved to enhance basic biological behavior with a high adaptive value, such as feeding or reproduction, and of course music is not a basic necessity for human survival, is it? Let.

Another interesting aspect is that the mere expectation of exalted piece of music that we can produce a state of emotional excitement prior to the activation of the reward system, which has been used by great musicians to play with the climax of musical pieces, (this brings me to head a Verdi opera!). This functional mechanism is not unique to music, since there are other systems that include a stage of dopaminergic release and anticipatory consummatory responses, such as the expectation of eating a delicious chocolate cake and eating it done eventually.

What does this mean?

This finding helps explain the feeling so intense that experience with some pieces of music, and why the music helps us to do activities such as running for long periods of time or the mood movie scenes to achieve a unique feel. Analyzing this phenomenon, one might think that great musicians are those who manage to master the art of influencing the brain to release dopamine in a specific time by using sound waves.

After reading this I guess if I wanted, these paragraphs could never release a shred of dopamine by my inevitable need to reduce the sublime to a mere impulse synaptic.