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What Happens in the Brain to Make Music Rewar

slo1
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4/15/2013 10:07:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
http://www.sciencedaily.com...

Apr. 11, 2013 " A new study reveals what happens in our brain when we decide to purchase a piece of music when we hear it for the first time. The study, conducted at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -- The Neuro, McGill University and published in the journal Science on April 12, pinpoints the specific brain activity that makes new music rewarding and predicts the decision to purchase music.

Participants in the study listened to 60 previously unheard music excerpts while undergoing functional resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning, providing bids of how much they were willing to spend for each item in an auction paradigm. "When people listen to a piece of music they have never heard before, activity in one brain region can reliably and consistently predict whether they will like or buy it, this is the nucleus accumbens which is involved in forming expectations that may be rewarding," says lead investigator Dr. Valorie Salimpoor, who conducted the research in Dr. Robert Zatorre's lab at The Neuro and is now at Baycrest Health Sciences' Rotman Research Institute. "What makes music so emotionally powerful is the creation of expectations. Activity in the nucleus accumbens is an indicator that expectations were met or surpassed, and in our study we found that the more activity we see in this brain area while people are listening to music, the more money they are willing to spend."
The second important finding is that the nucleus accumbens doesn't work alone, but interacts with the auditory cortex, an area of the brain that stores information about the sounds and music we have been exposed to. The more a given piece was rewarding, the greater the cross-talk between these regions. Similar interactions were also seen between the nucleus accumbens and other brain areas, involved in high-level sequencing, complex pattern recognition and areas involved in assigning emotional and reward value to stimuli.
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"The integrated activity of brain circuits involved in pattern recognition, prediction, and emotion allow us to experience music as an aesthetic or intellectual reward."

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Pattern recognition and prediction of an otherwise simple set of stimuli, when arranged together become so powerful as to make us happy or bring us to tears, as well as communicate and experience some of the most intense, complex emotions and thoughts.
slo1
Posts: 4,314
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4/15/2013 10:13:51 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I used to be a music snob and look down at people who liked certain types of music. With age of course, one generally realizes that the music one likes is learned.

Once set it is hard to learn to like other music. Clearly as this article demonstrates, until one does not listen to enough music in a new genre, he will not have an ability to "predict" and thus will not like it.

In other terms, just turn on the music type that you don't like and over time you will come to like it. Just think, if the older generations did that they would not bi-ach about the younger generation's taste in music so much.

Lastly, while I don't seek out 80's music, when ever I hear an 80's song, it makes me feel damn good. Product of the 80's..... what can i say?