It turns out that experiencing a visceral reaction while listening to music – such as a lump in your throat or breaking out in goosebumps – is fairly unique.
Not only that, but it could mean something pretty special – as in, your brain is actually put together differently than people who don’t have those experiences.
In a study done at Harvard University, both students who experienced a physical reaction from listening to music and those who did not were hooked up to brain scanning devices while listening.
What they found was that the students who made the connection tended to have a denser volume of fibers that connected their auditory cortex and the areas of the brain that process emotions.
“The idea being that more fibers and increased efficiency between two regions means that you have more efficient processing between them.”
Though small, the study seems to indicate that people who react strongly to music have a stronger emotional capacity overall.
The author intends to do further research, and hopes that his findings could have real world applications – possibly for people who suffer from depression.
“Depression causes an inability to experience pleasure of everyday things. You could use music with a therapist to explore feelings.”
We’ll have to wait and see how the additional research pans out, but I’m glad that there are scientists out there working on how to improve our mental health as well as our physical.
Go team human!