Music Releases Mood-Enhancing Chemical in Your Brain

Music releases a chemical in your brain called dopamine that puts you in a good mood, according to a new study. Dopamine also increases in response to other stimuli, such as food money, and being in love.

The study found that levels of dopamine were up to 9 percent higher when volunteers were listening to music they enjoyed. This shows that humans do indeed obtain pleasure from abstract stimuli in the same way that they obtain pleasure from more basic, direct biological stimuli.

BBC News reports:

"A key element of the study was to measure the release of dopamine, when the participants were feeling their highest emotional response to the music. To achieve this, researchers marked when participants felt a shiver down the spine of the sort that many people feel in response to a favorite piece of music ... The scans showed increased endogenous dopamine transmission when the participants felt a 'chill'."

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