Musical Chills

Musical Chills & Dopamine

You know that feeling when you get chills listening to your favorite music? 🔊

It’s an awesome feeling, isn’t it?

Research has shown that this physiological response is a rush of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the striatal system of your brain (Salimpoor, et al. 2011). 🧠

From an evolutionary standpoint, this response is theorized to be an automatic fight or flight reaction to a surprising sound that’s first judged to be threatening (Huron, 2006). 😱

Once the sound is determined to be music and non-threatening, the response turns to be one of pleasure; therefore, chills from music are typically reported during unexpected, novel, or sudden music events – such as when the bass drops. 🎸⬇️

Solena Mednicoff
PhD Candidate

My research interests include music cognition, neuroscience, and user engagement & analytics.