Fact No. 2648
“Music affects parts of your brain that have nothing to do with music.”
Music involves a region in the brain called the striatum. This structure releases dopamine in response to pleasure-related stimuli like food or sex, but it also does so when listening to music, even though music has no apparent evolutionary value. Researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute found a strange rhythm in this process — when participants heard whatever point of music they found most pleasing, the ventral stiatum released dopamine, but the dorsal striatum does the same thing 10 or 15 seconds before that moment in any given song. Music, then, is partially tied to anticipation and prediction — your brain expects what part of the music is coming next, and you feel a sense of reward when it happens.