Published January 10, 2011
Listening to a favorite pop song or classic rock hit can trigger the same chemical reactions in the body as having sex, eating good food or taking drugs, according to Canadian researchers cited Monday in The Montreal Gazette.
A team of scientists from Montreal's McGill University found that the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine was released when people listened to their favorite tunes, the newspaper reported.
Neuroscientist Robert Zatorre, who led the research, said the findings helped explain why music was important throughout history. He said it was well-known that dopamine is produced when people eat and have sex, reinforcing acts essential to survival.
"For reasons that we don't entirely understand, somehow music was able to kick in with the same system, and that gives it power that it might not otherwise have," Zatorre said.
The research was published in the latest edition of the journal Nature Neuroscience.
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