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A new study has found that dopamine — a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in our cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning — plays a direct role in the reward experience induced by music. The new findings have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“In everyday life, humans regularly seek participation in highly complex and pleasurable experiences such as music listening, singing, or playing, that do not seem to have any specific survival advantage. Understanding how the brain translates a structured sequence of sounds, such as music, into a pleasant and rewarding experience is thus a challenging and fascinating question,” said study author Laura Ferreri, an associate professor in cognitive psychology at Lyon University.
“In the scientific literature, there was a lack of direct evidence showing that dopamine function is causally related to music-evoked pleasure. Therefore in this study, through a pharmacological approach, we wanted to investigate whether dopamine, which plays a major role in regulating pleasure experiences and motivation to engage in certain behaviors, plays a direct role in the experience of pleasure induced by music.”
The researchers manipulated the dopaminergic transmission of 27 participants while they were listening to music.
In the three different sessions, separated by one week at least, the experts orally administrated to each participant a dopamine precursor (levodopa, which increases dopaminergic availability), a dopamine antagonist (risperidone; to reduce dopaminergic signaling), and placebo (lactose; as a control).
The researchers found that risperidone impaired participants’ ability to experience musical pleasure, but levodopa enhanced it.
“This study shows for the first time a causal role of dopamine in musical pleasure and motivation: enjoying a piece of music, deriving pleasure from it, wanting to listen to it again, being willing to spend money for it, strongly depend on the dopamine released in our synapses,” Ferreri told PsyPost.
“What we found sheds new light on the role of the human dopaminergic system in abstract rewards. Indeed, our findings challenge previous evidence conducted in animal models, where dopaminergic manipulations showed a clear role of dopamine in motivation and learning, but a controversial function in regulating hedonic responses in primary rewards such as food, mainly related to opioids release.”
“These results indicate that dopaminergic transmission in humans might play different or additive roles than the ones postulated in affective processing so far, particularly in abstract cognitive activities such as music listening,” Ferreri explained.
The researchers found that participants were willing to spend more money under the dopamine precursor levodopa than under the dopamine antagonist risperidone, indicating that they were more motivated to listen to the music again when dopaminergic transmission was enhanced than when it was blocked.
“It is important to highlight that we were not looking for a magic pill able to increase the feelings of pleasure while listening to music. We were interested in finding the neurochemical mechanisms underpinning the music-evoked pleasure, and we used a pharmacological approach to address this question,” Ferreri added.
“We cannot conclude that taking dopamine will increase your musical pleasure. What we can say is much more interesting: listening to the music you love will make your brain release more dopamine, a crucial neurotransmitter for humans’ emotional and cognitive functioning.”
The study, “Dopamine modulates the reward experiences elicited by music“, was authored by Laura Ferreri, Ernest Mas-Herrero, Robert J. Zatorre, Pablo Ripollés, Alba Gomez-Andres, Helena Alicart, Guillem Olivé, Josep Marco-Pallarés, Rosa M. Antonijoan, Marta Valle, Jordi Riba, and Antoni Rodriguez-Fornells.
A Michigan-native with millions in the bank, this music superstar opens up about living in the lap of luxury and why he has chosen to live in a double-wide trailer instead of a mansion.
Kid Rock has been known for years as someone who pushes limits, armed with his unabashed personality, down-home roots, and Southern values – Rock has always spoken his mind and been open about his core beliefs.
The 47-year-old rapper, singer, record producer, and multi-talented musician has turned his back on the expansive mansions and gold-plated luxury that often is seen with success like he has experienced. Worth more than $80 million, Kid Rock has instead chosen to live his years out in a double-wide trailer that, he says, suits his lifestyle much better.
“I live in a double-wide trailer. It’s not like I require a lot. You know, I’ve learned to downsize through the years and it really made me more happy. I’ll sell everything and live in that double-wide but I’m not givin’ up that airplane,” Rock said in an interview with Dan Rather.
He might live in a double-wide, but the ease and convenience of a private airplane is the one luxury item he won’t walk away from. Just beyond his spot of land and mobile home sits an airstrip just big enough for his private plane.
“No security,” Rock tells Rolling Stone of the strip. “Just drive a pickup truck onto the tarmac, leave your keys in the car, get on the plane.”
With multiple platinum albums and a discography that continues to grow every year, Kid Rock has experienced success that many aspiring musicians only dream of. With that success comes a lot of money, but that’s not a driving factor for his lifestyle.
“You see a lot of people in my business. You go to these houses and I go where do you start in this thing? Like, how many times do you use the movie theater? I’ve built one. I maybe went in there once. Usually, because I was too drunk and couldn’t find the bedroom. It’s just like a freakin maintenance nightmare.”
“I’m just figuring out what really makes me happy and I’d rather have land and things of this nature and maybe some cool cars and my plane of course and stuff like that… and really not have any worries. You don’t have to worry if things are gonna go south.”
“If that trailer burns down or blows off the mountain… order another one, it’ll be here in two weeks.”
Watch Kid Rock’s interview with Dan Rather below and let us know what you think of his double-wide.
Some music inspires you to move your feet, some inspires you to get out there and change the world. In any case, and to move hurriedly on to the point of this article, it’s fair to say that music moves people in special ways.
If you’re especially into a piece of music, your brain does something called Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), which feels to you like a tingling in your brain or scalp. It’s nature’s own little “buzz”, a natural reward, that is described by some as a “head orgasm”. Some even think that it explains why people go to church, for example, “feeling the Lord move through you”, but that’s another article for another time.
Turns out that ASMR is pretty special. According to a recently published study in The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease (catchy name!), the part of your brain responsible for ASMR doesn’t get lost to Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s tends to put people into layers of confusion, and the study confirms that music can sometimes actually lift people out of the Alzheimer’s haze and bring them back to (at least a semblance of) normality… if only for a short while. ASMR is powerful stuff!
This phenomenon has been observed several times but rarely studied properly. One of the most famous examples of this is the story of Henry, who comes out of dementia while listening to songs from his youth:
Jeff Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in Radiology at the Univerity of Utah Health and contributing author on the study, says “In our society, the diagnoses of dementia are snowballing and are taxing resources to the max. No one says playing music will be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but it might make the symptoms more manageable, decrease the cost of care and improve a patient’s quality of life.”
Baby, It’s Cold Outside pulled from some Canadian radio stations
Bell Media, Rogers and CBC are pulling the song commonly played during the holidays
Baby, It’s Cold Outside is getting a chilly response from Canadian radio stations.
At least three of the country’s biggest radio operators — Bell Media, Rogers and CBC — say they’ve decided to pull the controversial holiday favourite out of their rotations this year.
That comes as the duet, written back in 1944, faces renewed scrutiny over what some say are inappropriate lyrics in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Earlier this week, Cleveland radio station WDOK-FM announced it stopped playing the song in response to listener feedback. Some took issue over lyrics where one singer is trying to persuade the other to stay inside, with exchanges that include, “What’s in this drink?” and “Baby, don’t hold out.”
Bell Media spokesperson Scott Henderson said the company, which runs two 24-hour Christmas stations in Vancouver and Ottawa, didn’t include the Christmas tune on its playlists this year. But it also told stations it doesn’t plan to reintroduce the song in the future.
CBC public affairs head Chuck Thompson said, “CBC Music will be pulling the song from its rotation as of midnight and has no plans to play it going forward.”
Rogers runs a number of all-Christmas music stations, including 98.1 CHFI-FM in Toronto and 98.5 6.7 CIOC-FM in Victoria.
With files from CBC News
RAPPER Kayne West has quit the music industry to devote all his energy to twattish behaviour.