The human brain is a truly fascinating organ that is still full of many mysteries! It controls our entire body, sending and receiving key messages that help our bodies function normally.
There is something interesting about the brain that scientists have finally discovered: The reason some people get goosebumps when listening to music.
When you're listening to your favorite tune, do you find that the hairs on your body stand up? Or do you feel a satisfying chill? This doesn't have to happen every time you listen to a great song, but it happens often enough that you start to notice it.
Scientists call it "frisson," and it's actually not very common. Their findings say a lot about who you are as a person.
This happens to me a lot when I watch singing talent shows like American Idol or The Voice. When a new contestant comes and does a beautiful rendition of a great song, my arms start to feel tingly. It's strange because this doesn't happen to anyone else in my family.
Apparently that tingling sensation is actually telling you something about the structure of your brain. Fortunately, it's a good thing.
Before I get into what this tells you about your brain, what are goosebumps? You usually get them when you feel scared, threatened, or cold, but why does this happen?
According to various studies, the adrenaline cursing in your veins is causing the hairs on your arm to stand up. This is best understood if you think about our bodies's natural flight or flight response. Say you're in a threatening situation or listening to a scary story, you're undoubtedly experiencing intense emotions. These emotions produce an automatic reflex that causes your muscles to tense up, which in turn pulls your skin a bit and raises your hairs.
So what does all this have to do with music? It's all connected, trust me.
A study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience found that people who get chills from listening to music have a wider range of emotions. This is because they have more brain fibers that connect their auditory information to their emotions. Basically, your brain's processing system is working more efficiently.
This makes sense, because music is closely associated with pleasure. Whether we're sad or happy, music can accentuate a certain emotion.
Next time you sense that pleasant chill, embrace it. It means your brain is probably more empathetic.