January 20, 2011

You'll love this week's featured science song, thanks to dopamine

"Whether it's the Beatles or Beethoven, people like music for the same reason they like eating or having sex: It makes the brain release a chemical that gives pleasure, a new study says."

Thus begins Malcom Ritter's article (Study: Love music? Thank a substance in your brain) summarizing a study just published in Nature Neuroscience (Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music by Valorie Salimpoor et al.).

To complete the dopamine/music pleasure circuit, how about listening to a song about this particular neurotransmitter (as well as its cousin norepinephrine)? "Chemical Love" by Charlie McDonnell is sure to fire up those striatal neurons!

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