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Culture & Religion

Music Moves the Mind’s Chemicals

Listening to your favorite melodies and harmonies can trigger the brain to release large amounts of dopamine, a chemical that sends “feel good” signals to the rest of the body.

According to a new study, self motivation and predisposition to addiction are altered by the same brain chemical affected when we listen to music. “The small study, published in February in Nature Neuroscience, used brain scans to show that college students released significantly more dopamine when they heard their preferred music (which was as varied as Beethoven, Led Zeppelin and the Israeli trance band Infected Mushroom) as opposed to someone else’s tunes. … Not only was the potent neurochemical released at the moment of peak emotional response—when you might feel those goosebumps—but the mere anticipation of that peak arousal was also enough to cause an increase in dopamine.”


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