It’s been said that music is meant to create an emotional response in people. It can make want to get up and dance, help them relax, give them goosebumps, or even move them to tears. And yet, having an actual physical response to music is remarkably rare and could indicate that some people have different brain structures than others.
This comes from a study performed last year by former Harvard undergraduate Matthew Sachs. In the study, Sachs interviewed 20 students and found that 10 of them experienced goosebumps and other physical changes while listening to music. After performing brain scans on each of the 20 students, he discovered that the students who reported having intense feelings while listening to music have a denser volume of fibers that connect their auditory cortex to the part of the brain that processes emotion. This connection allowed the two parts of the brain to better communicate, thus giving the listener a more intense emotional response.
Even though the study was small in size, it has prompted researchers to conduct more studies that look at music and the effect that it can have on the human brain. For all we know, this could open up a whole new facet of musical therapy and aid in the treatment of various psychological disorders.