Esubalew singing “Emiye Ethipia”

Scientists have long pondered why music affects us in ways that other noises do not. They are now starting to uncover some solutions. They are learning why music can evoke such deep emotions and tie us to others so strongly using fMRI technology.
Deep emotional areas in the brain are impacted by music. A single sound tone isn’t particularly enjoyable by itself, but if these sounds are arranged in some way over the course of time, it’s incredibly potent. How potent? She and her team used an fMRI machine to measure individuals’ brain activity while they were listening to their preferred music in one of their research. Dopamine was released in the nucleus accumbens, a structure deep inside the older part of our human brain, during peak emotional moments in the songs that the listeners identified. Dopamine is released in response to bodily rewards, such as eating and having sex, thus this is significant. Additionally, it was released along with highly addictive and potent substances like cocaine or amphetamines.
Another area of the brain, the caudate nucleus, which is involved in anticipating pleasure, absorbs dopamine, particularly just before those emotional high points in a song. Probably because you are familiar with the song and have a recollection of it from the past implanted in your brain, you appreciate the anticipation of the high moments that are to come. This intense combination of pleasure and anticipation shows that our desire to listen to music we enjoy is biologically motivated. Salimpoor once more attached participants to fMRI equipment to find out. But this time, she made the participants listen to obscure tunes while also giving them cash to spend however they pleased on music.

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