The human brain has always amazed scientists with its super and mysterious tendencies. In a recent study published in journal Scientific Reports, researchers have found that the chemical system in the brain is stimulated by not only feelings of pleasure from sex, recreational drugs, and tasty food but also from listening favorite music.
Dr. Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist at McGill University in Canada, said, “This is the first corroboration that the brain’s opioids are directly involved in musical pleasure.”
He also told that previously neuroimaging was practiced to map areas of the brain that become active during moments of musical pleasure and scientists were able only to infer the involvement of the opioid system.To carry out the research, opioids in the brain were temporarily blocked by naltrexone, a widely prescribed drug for treating addiction disorders.
The participants were then measured for their responses to their favorite music. From their responses, the researchers found that even the participants’ favorite songs no longer triggered feelings of pleasure.
After the experiment, sharing the experiences, participants told that they did not felt like they usually do when they heard their favorite song.
Addiction of anything is always harmful. Likewise, the most enjoyable activities like alcohol, sex, poker, etc., can often lead to addiction that can harm lives and relationships. It is so because, when it comes to the brain, it’s chemical-system works in a similar fashion be it for sex or recreational drugs.
So, for neuroscience research understanding the neurochemical roots of pleasure has been an important part for decades.
However, these tools and methods to do such kind of research in humans have developed recently.Levitin said when students are served with prescribed drugs other than health reasons than one have to be careful to ensure against any possible ill effects.
All 17 participants went through a blood test within a year before the experiment, to ensure that do not suffer from any conditions that would be made worse by the prescribed drug.
According to the scientists, research showed that the ability of music to affect our emotions so strongly suggest an evolutionary origin.
The researchers said their findings “add to the growing body of evidence for the evolutionary biological substrates of music.”