Dopamine is Alive; With the Sound of Music

Dan Wiggins

by Dan Wiggins

28th August 2015

ATTENTION! Before you continue reading this blog post, click play on the video above. Keep the volume fairly quiet, and then continue to read the rest of this blog post. This will be explained further down. 

Why Do we Like Music?

We all like listening to music, even if some of us only listen to music occasionally. We all have a preference when it comes to music and it’s no wonder that we feel pleasure when we listen to music – even if the songs aren’t exactly ‘up lifting’ songs.

Music has many effects on your brain, and it’s no wonder that humans have always been attracted to lyrical melodies. Singing, humming, chanting, tapping, instrumental melodies, all ways in which humans have created music before we could listen to CD’s, Vinyl, MP3’sNo matter how we listen to music, the chemical reaction that takes place in our brain has remained the same, and will likely do so for as long as we listen to music for gratification.

The Chemistry of Music

When we hear music, our ears register the melodies and trigger the brain into a stimulus that produces more dopamine and serotonin than usual. You may already be aware, but dopamine and serotonin act like the reward system when the brain senses something pleasurable, such as when we eat food, watch funny videos on YouTube, and during sex. In last weeks post you may remember that I discussed how serotonin and dopamine are released from the brain in scenarios you wouldn’t exactly class as ‘pleasurable’ such as horror films and scary scenarios. You can read more about this in ‘The Chemistry of Fear’.


The chemical makeup of dopamine 


The chemical make up of serotonin


Why Did I ask you to Play The Music Above?

A study in 2014 found that certain mixtures of pitches, frequencies and tones could create music that would help to boost productivity and help prolong work times by up to 400%. The study was carried out by the Acoustical Society of America, who found that listening to natural sounds can help to boost productivity. So, the music video at the top of this article that I asked you to play and listen too throughout the remainder of this post should have helped you to concentrate when reading this post, and if the scientific conclusion of the study is correct, you should retain the information much easier, as a result from the stimulating music.

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