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Getting Chills While Listening To Music Can Be A Sign That You Have A Unique Brain


Find out what a USC researcher has to say about people who have an enhanced ability to feel intense emotions. 

Have you ever had a tickling feeling of goosebumps on your hands? Or, have you ever experienced chills running up through your spine?

This feeling is called frisson, and it is a French term for “aesthetic chills” that feel like waves of pleasure going through your body. It is like an orgasm for your skin. Many experiences can cause frisson, such as looking at a beautiful piece of art, watching a movie that touches you, or seeing and getting physical with the person you love.  

However, the most common trigger for experiencing chills is listening to emotionally charged music. Moreover, if you are one of those people who can feel them, new research found that you have a unique brain.

Alissa Der Sarkissian is a research assistant at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute, who gets chills every time she listens to the song “Nude” by Radiohead.

“I sort of feel that my breathing is going with the song, my heart is beating slower, and I’m feeling just more aware of the song — both the emotions of the song and my body’s response to it,said Alissa.

Alissa, together with her friend Matthew Sachs who is an undergraduate student at USC, published a study in which they investigated how the chills are connected to the brain.

They discovered that people who often get the chilling feeling when listening to music have a different brain structure than the rest.

They have an increased number of fibers which connect the auditory cortex of the brain with areas that are responsible for the emotional processing of the information. In other words, these two regions that are rich in fibers communicate better, and thus the processing between them is more efficient.

Due to this fact, these people also have an enhanced ability to experience deep and intense emotions.

So, what are your thoughts on this? Do you think that being able to feel chills and goosebumps are a way to tell the depth and the intensity of a person? Or, do you think that not everyone has a physical reaction to what happens inside of them?

Please share your thoughts with us, and watch the audio clip below on how music and chills work in reality.