Have you ever been listening to a song when all of a sudden, your heart skips a beat, the hairs on the backs of your arms stand up, and a piece of you feels as if it has taken flight? If so, you’re not alone. However, according to a new study, individuals who get “chills” when listening to beautiful music are biologically different. As a result, they may even be considered special.
The study was led by Matthew Sachs, a graduate student studying the effect of music on the brain at the University of Southern California. For the research, 20 students, 10 of who reported feeling chills while listening to their favorite songs and 10 whom did not, took part.
Sachs himself admits the study was small and that the phenomenon is difficult to research. After all, is not unusual for people to get chills from certain songs because they have unique memories tied to them. To prove more conclusively that people who connect with music are slightly different from a biological perspective, Sachs is conducting follow-up research that involves examining the patterns of activity in people’s brains as they listen to music that induces goosebumps. His hope is to understand more about what’s happening neurologically.
According to neuroscientist Jessica Grahn, who is studying music in neuroscience at Western University in Canada, people listen to music because it challenges them in similar ways going to a haunted house or a scary movie does. It provides entertainment and challenges evolutionary reactions.
Ready to test whether or not music will inspire “chills”? Listen to a beautiful rendition of “Hallelujah” below: