Research reveals the biochemical connection between music and emotion
Research reveals the biochemical connection between music and emotion. The universal structures of music can produce dopamine-induced. Music and Emotion. Living apart together: a relationship between music psychology and music therapy. Annemiek Vink. Abstract. Does music induce emotion in. A group of researchers at Dartmouth have found a new way to explore the relationship between music, emotion and movement.
Research reveals the biochemical connection between music and emotion January 19, By Joel N.
Shurkin, Inside Science News Service The universal structures of music can produce dopamine-induced anticipation and release even if the music is unfamiliar. You are happily awaiting the glorious climax in the fourth movement -- you know it's coming -- when the full orchestra and chorus erupt with the "Ode to Joy.
When music sounds this good, there's a reason: In research published in the journal Nature Neurosciencescientists at McGill University in Montreal have established the direct link between the elation stimulated by music and the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Dopamine is the same substance that puts the joy in sex, the thrill in certain illegal drugs, and the warm feeling within a woman breast-feeding her child. The substance also may explain why the power of music crosses human cultures, the scientists said.
Salimpoor and other researchers in the lab of Robert J. Zatorre took eight subjects and asked them to bring in music they loved.
They chose a broad range of instrumental music, from Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings the most popular to jazz and punk.
The test used only familiar music, Zatorre said, because he wanted to make sure he was getting a "maximal response. A positron emission tomography, or PET scan, measured dopamine release. Dopamine is synthesized in the brain out of amino acids and transmits signals from one neuron to another through the circuits of the brain. The structure in the brain Zatorre's team looked at is the striatum, deep inside the forebrain. The striatum has two subparts: Zatorre said the dorsal part of the striatum is connected to the regions of the brain involved in prediction and action, while the ventral is connected to the limbic systemthe most primitive and ancient part of the brain, where emotions come from.
According to the McGill research, during the anticipation phase dopamine pours into the dorsal striatum when the climax occurs, triggering a reaction in the ventral striatum that results in a release of pure emotion. In light of this finding, there has been particular controversy about music eliciting negative emotions. Cognitivists argue that choosing to listen to music that elicits negative emotions like sadness would be paradoxical, as listeners would not willingly strive to induce sadness.
As a result of this research it has indeed been found that people sometimes listen to sad music when feeling sad to intensify feelings of sadness.
Other reasons for listening to sad music when feeling sad were; in order to retrieve memories, to feel closer to other people, for cognitive reappraisalto feel befriended by the music, to distract oneself, and for mood enhancement. The other half of the participants listened to twelve random excerpts five times, and started their ratings on the third repetition.
Music & How It Impacts Your Brain, Emotions
Findings showed that participants who listened to the excerpts five times rated their emotions with higher intensity than the participants who listened to them only once.
Emotional memories and actions[ edit ] Music may not only elicit new emotions, but connect listeners with other emotional sources. Therefore creating a strong connection between emotion and music within memory makes it easier to recall one when prompted by the other.
Listeners can become sad because they recognize that those emotions must have been felt by the composer,   much as the viewer of a play can empathize for the actors. Listeners may also respond to emotional music through action.
Consequently, heightening the emotions in all these events.
In fact, many people report being unable to sit still when certain rhythms are played, in some cases even engaging in subliminal actions when physical manifestations should be suppressed.
All other things being equal, sounds that are sudden, loud, dissonant, or feature fast temporal patterns induce arousal or feelings of unpleasantness in listeners Such responses reflect the impact of auditory sensations — music as sound in the most basic sense.
The adjusted heart rate can then spread to other components of emotion such as feeling, through proprioceptive feedback.
This may produce an increased level of arousal in the listener. Thus, for instance, a particular piece of music may have occurred repeatedly together in time with a specific event that always made you happy e. Over time, through repeated pairings, the music will eventually come to evoke happiness even in the absence of the friendly interaction.
Music evokes vicarious emotions in listeners
This is sometimes referred to as the "Darling, they are playing our tune" phenomenon. It has for example been found that listening to unconventional music may sometimes cause a meaning threat and result in compensatory behaviour in order to restore meaning.
This can involve a number of varying personal preferences, such as the message conveyed, skill presented or novelty of style or idea. Comparison of conveyed and elicited emotions[ edit ] Evidence for emotion in music[ edit ] There has been a bulk of evidence that listeners can identify specific emotions with certain types of music, but there has been less concrete evidence that music may elicit emotions. Researchers use one or a combination of these methods to investigate emotional reactions to music.
This is the most widely used method for studying emotion and has shown that people identify emotions and personally experience emotions while listening to music. In fact, a meta-analysis of 41 studies on music performance found that happiness, sadness, tenderness, threat, and anger were identified above chance by listeners.
The findings showed that the categorizations were not different between the trained and untrained; thus demonstrating that the untrained listeners are highly accurate in perceiving emotion. This leaves reporting vulnerable to self-report biases such as participants responding according to social prescriptions or responding as they think the experimenter wants them to.
Music & How It Impacts Your Brain, Emotions
Some evidence shows one of these changes is within the nervous system. Studies using facial electromyography EMG have found that people react with subliminal facial expressions when listening to expressive music.
In general, research agrees that feeling and perception ratings are highly correlated, but not identical. The results found that emotions conveyed by music were more intense than the emotions elicited by the same piece of music. Findings showed that ratings for conveyed emotions were higher in happy responses to music with consistent cues for happiness i. Sometimes conveyed, sometimes elicited[ edit ] Another study that had 32 participants listen to twelve musical pieces and found that the strength of perceived and elicited emotions were dependent on the structures of the piece of music.
On the other hand, elicited emotions were stronger than perceived emotions when rating for pleasantness. A separate 19 listeners rated to what extent they experienced each of these emotions. The findings showed that all music stimuli elicited specific emotions for the group of participants rating elicited emotion, while music stimuli only occasionally conveyed emotion to the participants in the group identifying which emotions the music conveyed.