Dopamine. It’s that wonderful neurotransmitter. It’s released when we have sex. It’s released when we eat chocolate. Now some Canadian researchers say that our favorite music gets us going in a similar fashion.
The study went on at McGill University in Montreal (university types again!) and was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. The team sought to explain why music is so popular and they concluded that everybody’s favorite neurotransmitter, dopamine, is produced when people listen to their favorite tunes, be it classical, rock, or jazz.
“Music has such deep roots in the brain that it engages this biologically ancient system,” said study team leader and neuroscientist Robert Zatorre. According to the study’s results, volunteers (college students again!) who engaged in active listening to music without lyrics showed similar dopamine production in the pleasure centers of the brain as those who might be doing drugs or having sex.
“For reasons that we don't entirely understand, somehow music was able to kick in with the same system,” Zatorre said. “And that gives it power that it might not otherwise have.” No word yet on how this might effect the Sex, Drugs & Rock n’ Roll industry.