Do you get chills while listening to your favorite tunes? If you do, you’re probably different from the rest of us. According to a recent study, we all react differently to music, by experiencing chills while listening to music, you may be special.
The study was led by a student from the University of California named Matthew Sachs. Sachs was trying to determine how music affects our brain and examined 20 subjects while they were listening to different types of music. When playing a specific song, 10 of the participants got chills, while the other 10 didn’t get the same.
While the participants were listening to the song, Sachs and his team took brain scans. The 10 participants who got chills while listening to the song had a greater number of neural connections in the prefrontal, auditory cortex and the emotional processing center.
The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for higher cognition, which includes interpreting songs. The results actually showed that people who get chills from a song may have a stronger emotional connection and experience music differently than the rest of us.
What type of music causes chills?
Recently, William Halimou, an undergraduate student from Oberin College, released a paper he wrote on the subject and found out why the chills occur. Halimou discovered that the type of music people get chills from depends on the person.
The shivers can be triggered by dynamic changes or new and unexpected harmonies. Human voice modulations also triggered chills, and even though it depends on the person, certain general music features can do the same in all of us.
According to Halimou, the chills may be linked to socio-emotional systems that create separation-distress, not unlike in cases of a child calling out for his parents or help.