Why Music Makes Our Brain Sing, and More

Robert J. Zatorre & Valorie N. Salimpoor play it out: "... we found that listening to what might be called “peak emotional moments” in music — that moment when you feel a “chill” of pleasure to a musical passage — causes the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, an essential signaling molecule in the brain.

When pleasurable music is heard, dopamine is released in the striatum — an ancient part of the brain found in other vertebrates as well — which is known to respond to naturally rewarding stimuli like food and sex and which is artificially targeted by drugs like cocaine and amphetamine.

But what may be most interesting here is when this neurotransmitter is released: not only when the music rises to a peak emotional moment, but also several seconds before, during what we might call the anticipation phase."

They went on to design an ingenious experiment that concluded that: "each act of listening to music may be thought of as both recapitulating the past and predicting the future."

Is music the key to time travel?