I believe that The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is the greatest rock song ever conceived. When Roger hits that scream towards the end–again, the greatest scream ever recorded–a shiver goes through me.
Many of us experience those sorts of chills when listening to certain songs. But apparently, many do not.
Alissa Der Sarkissian is a research assistant at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute and was curious as to why this song always gave her strange, pleasant feelings.
She says “I sort of feel that my breathing is going with the song, my heart is beating slower and I’m feeling just more aware of the song — both the emotions of the song and my body’s response to it.”
Okay. Why? And why doesn’t everyone experience this reaction?
According to research, those who get musical shivers have more fibers connecting the auditory cortex–the place in the brain that processes sound–to those parts of the brain that deal with processing emotions. More fibers equals better communication. And better communication allows music and emotions to mingle more freely.
Okay, but what sort of evolutionary process would lead to such a thing? No one knows. There doesn’t seem to a reason for being able to appreciate music to this degree.
Fascinating. USC has a podcast on the subject.
(Via Larry and IFLScience)