We’ve known for the longest time that a great song and sex stimulate the brain to release dopamine, the body’s feel-good hormone. A new study shows exactly how much the two are intertwined in that squishy stuff between our ears. From The Independent.
For the same chemical system in the brain that produces feelings of pleasure as a result of having sex, taking recreational drugs or eating tasty food is also stimulated by listening to a favourite tune.
To test the theory, the researchers found a way to temporarily block the natural opioid substances produced when we are having a good time.
Seventeen test subjects were then played music to see if doing this had an effect.
Dr Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist at McGill University in Canada as well as a musician and record producer, said: “The impressions our participants shared with us after the experiment were fascinating.
“One said: ‘I know this is my favourite song but it doesn’t feel like it usually does’.
“Another admitted: ‘It sounds pretty, but it’s not doing anything for me’.”
He added that this was the first time it had been shown conclusively that opioids in the brain were “directly involved in musical pleasure”.
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