The Neurobiology of Music-Induced Pleasure

Functional connectivity between the nucleus accumbens (in red) and the right auditory cortex is associated with experiencing music-induced pleasure. Source: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain A pioneering new study by an international team of neuroscientists has identified a specific functional connectivity network between brain regions that is directly associated with the degree of pleasure someone experiences while listening to music. The findings were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Did you know that some people derive absolutely zero pleasure from listening to music? This neurological disorder is called “specific musical anhedonia” and affects approximately three-to-five percent of the population. Anhedonia is described by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a psychological condition characterized by inability to experience pleasure in acts which normally produce it.” Experiencing a loss of pleasure or interest in previously rewarding…


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