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back to article Official: music is a brain stimulating drug

We all know our favourite tunes are pleasurable, but scientists have dug deep and discovered music can actually be a drug that stimulates the release of pleasure chemicals in our brain. A study from scholars at McGill University in Canada suggests the anticipation of our favourite passage can be all the stimulation needed for …

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Coat

These legal highs must be banned!

Music is the GATEWAY DRUG! Kids should get high on LIFE, not DRUGS!

Hang on, that means life is a drug! Ban life! Death to all kids!

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Anonymous Coward

The Taliban are way ahead on this..

Who was it made the Taliban Tea-Party comparison?

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/956808

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So, when are the arests.

All the major labels should now be up on RICO charges due to their organised peddling of narcotics, right?

Well, we can live in hope...

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Silver badge

No prospect of conviction

They have a cogent and undisputed defence argument: the "music" they are manufacturing and distributing is so bad that it is incapable of causing any dopamine releasing effect.

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Thumb Up

"...musicians go on to harder substances..."

Like when we finish a gig and start drinking?

This clearly needs more research - I volunteer.

Think of the bassists

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Apropos

"Turning to drugs to make you sleep

Will only lead to sleep

But sleeping is a gateway drug

To being awake, being awake, being awake again."

— They Might Be Giants, "Wearing a Raincoat"

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Alert

the DEA and the RIAA..

.. so if music is a drug, and the RIAA are trying to collect money for the use of this music.

does that mean the DEA will start an enforcement action against them?

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Not a surprise

I'm fairly sure then that different tastes in music can be boiled down to what frequency combinations trigger dopamine release.

If music be the food of love, chop me out a line!

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Silver badge

i'm fairly sure that's wrong...

..cos people aren't into "g major to a minor" music.

It's a little more complex than that, isn't it? The same sequences of frequencies can occur in many different styles of music.

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Not strictly what I meant.

I was thinking more along the lines of when you add all of the components together, they create a whole that has an overall sound type. How that sound type reacts with the Central Nervous systems own frequency and what harmonics it creates will differ from person to person. Just changing one small thing within the sonic mix would affect the music significantly when it's all added together.

For example, I love Iron Maiden. I get very, very happy when I listen to them, BUT Queensryche don't really do it for me. Both are very similar as bands with similar chord progressions, 2 guitars, one bass and an opratic singer, so theoretically, if I like one band in that genre, I should also like any other. However, there's something in the overall mix of Queensryches music that just doesn't do it for me.

It's the same with Joni Mitchell Vs. Joan Baez. Mitchells voice does it for me, but Baez doesn't. Same notes, but it's how their harmonics resonate that ake the difference.

So while the same frequency sequences can appear in all kinds of music, it's more the way these frequencies are mixed with others and the way they are presented from the instruments that are played so that while we might like one transition, it means more or less depending on the superimposed harmonics and whatnot from playing style, amps, instrument types etc.

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That kind of implies

that people who like one type of music should like another type of music that uses that music. Take Barber's Adagio for Strings (if it's the study I'm thinking of then this actually was the winner in terms of chill response), everyone who likes the original should also like the trance version, and probably moreso because of the higher BPM. I don't think that many classical afficionados would agree though. It may be a starting point, but there's a lot more to it than just the frequencies used and the overall mix, and if it was just a case of that then you would have favourite songs, not artists, as the frequencies and harmonics would be different across all of their songs. I'm pretty deterministic, but I really don't think it's as simple as that.

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Stop

Music to the ears of the HR botherers

"Oh I work much better with my iPod on....there is also conclusive proof on the internet, GeorgeTuk is being unfair".

Yes I would work better if I didn't answer the phone or have to listen to anyone, but having people all plugged into iPods not knowing what is going on around them does not a good department make.

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Silver badge
WTF?

Piss right off

I am allowed to listen to metal at work precicely because it helps me get shit done. No distracting voices, no outside influence, just me and a keyboard. The boss? Listening to techno.

But then I guess he's got less cardboard in his briefs than Mr Tut.

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Silver badge
Coat

Quick

Bring Out the Ban-Hammer

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Alert

Oh my lord no - If they ban music...

There will only be things like Justin Beaver [sic] left!!!

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Thumb Up

turning to drugs..

Can also bring the sudden onset of wanting to visit the local kebab shop...

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Thumb Up

Ban this audio terrorist

If it aint alcohol, cigs or caffine. I think the home sec should put her foot down.

Of course the music industry wont be happy. People getting high on thier supply as it were.

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FAIL

dopamine

The research proves that the pleasure we get from listening to music is closely linked with dopamine release.

----

Any pleasure we experience is from dopamine release, since its the pleasure chemical. Maybe we should ban food as well, since that releases dopamine lol

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Yep. It's utter rubbish.

Pretty much any learned anticipatory behaviour in most animals releases dopamine just before the expected reward arrives. Does this mean that if I'm cheered up by looking forward to a plate of egg & chips when I get home then they have to be classed as a drug too? Controlled, maybe, but a drug?

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Pint

Far out man

I got a chill just thinking about musical chills.

That's it, stuff the telly I'm off to get some sounds on.

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Bronze badge
WTF?

this is news?!?

sure, they now have pictures so they can say it's scientific and all, but humanity in general and one English playwright* in particular have known this for at least 314 years and one may safely assume quite a bit longer.

* "Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast" - William Congreve 1697

how about a "pounding head on desk at the futility of it all" icon

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Boffin

It's purely musicianal, officer

As any musician will tell you, playing an instrument becomes a form of meditative catharsis beyond a certain point. Once you no longer fret (ha) about individual notes or the fingering of phrases, you can literally sit and happily noodle around for hours.

Perhaps it is addictive - but it's one addiction that can get you friends, pretty ladies and occasionally earn you money. It does however require a spare room, and a sympathetic wife/husband/live-in groupie.

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It took...

...a study at a uni to come up with this? Back in my younger years at an infamous hardcore/techno club called "Club Kinetic" there was nothing quite like the rush that hearing the start of one of your favourite tracks gave you... waiting for that breakdown for a huge hands in the air moment and then building, building, building until 2000 people went absolutely crazy! Ahh, those were the days. :)

Best of all I was a "straight head" (and known for it, complete strangers would come up to me and say "You're the straight head! I don't know how you do it, you're always up here on the podium") so, for me at least, it WAS the music.

Which makes me think, I'm going to have to go to one last rave before I'm too old and the kids wonder who the hell brought their grandad with them! ;) Anyone know any good old school ('92) hardcore nights?

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Anonymous Coward

The Performance Drug

One moment you're onstage, and oodles of people are focused on you -- loving what you're playing, applauding the hell out of you. Minutes later you're alone in a dressing room. Coming down off the stage high is sooooo hard.

THAT's why they do drugs.

IMHO.

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That's one explanation

I always find that bit the worst time of a gig. Of course, with the way the mind works, after a big high, you will always drop below your median mood level for a short while before coming back to normal, so there's also the related depression of coming off stage that lots of people (myself included a few years back) would fight off with... nasal decongestants.

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Anonymous Coward

Nice charts

Shame they look like an utter Mathematical fail. Regression lines drawn through about 10 points that look like buckshot marks on a target. Yeah, right-o. No wonder my mate makes so much money as a consultant statistician to science depts - they're f*cking hopeless.

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Re: Nice charts

I thought the same thing: the points in those charts do not show any obvious pattern, and drawing a line right through the middle does not really imply one.

-dZ.

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Big Brother

To quote Jello Biafra...

circa 1985ish - "Music is banned in Khomeini's Iran

On the grounds that it stimulates the brain

We've done him one better in the land of coke & honey

Using music to put people's brains to sleep"

Bit of a prediction of all these Talent(less) shows eh?

Also, a big punk style middle finger to the HR nazi above!

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Happy

Freetard...

Excellent, so now when I get arrested for nicking music I can just claim I'm addicted and volunteer to go into rehab.

Case closed.

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