Posted: 3:45 pm Saturday, March 11th, 2017
Its almost inconceivable to me to imagine a world that doesn’t include music, it takes me places, it calms me, it also lifts me, feeds my ego and provides a living for me since I’m in my teens. I’ve been in a zillion bands, and worked on the radio for almost 30 years, music and my life go hand in hand. But there are people who don’t like ANY kind of music.
Check this out, a long read, but interesting!
Despite coming from a tremendously musical family, Sheridan is part of the roughly 3 to 5 percent of the world’s population that has an apathy toward music. It’s what’s referred to as specific musical anhedonia—different from general anhedonia, which is the inability to feel any kind of pleasure and which is often associated with depression. In fact, there’s nothing inherently wrong with musical anhedonics; their indifference to music isn’t a source of depression or suffering of any kind, although Sheridan notes, “The only suffering is being mocked by other people, because they don’t understand it. Everybody loves music, right?”
As part of the study, 45 students from the University of Barcelona (where most of the study authors are based) were asked to fill out a questionnaire that helped determine their sensitivity to musical reward. Based on their responses, they were divided into groups of three—people who don’t care for music at all, those who have some interest in music, and those who essentially live and breathe music. The researchers then had them listen to music while measuring their brain activity with an fMRI machine.
For people who enjoy music, activity in the brain’s auditory and reward regions is closely coupled and, for them, hearing a song resulted in joy and pleasure. But, in the brains of people with specific musical anhedonia, researchers found that the auditory and reward regions of the brain simply didn’t interact in response to music. As a control, to make sure that musical anhedonics responded to other stimuli, researchers also had participants play a gambling game and found that winning money activated the brain’s reward system just fine.
Sitting at that musically inclined end is Paul Silvia, who is often immersed in post-rock, shoegazer rock, electronic, or jazz music. “I hear music in my mind a lot, and I can get chills from this imagined music,” says Silvia, a psychology professor at the University of Carolina at Greensboro, who experiences chills in response to music several times a day. In fact, it was this response that got Silvia to begin studying chills almost a decade ago.
“Chills are fascinating,” says Silvia, because “there’s a difference between some song you like coming on the radio and emotions from music that are deep.” It’s that feeling of wanting to cry when you hear a particularly moving piece or feeling your heart soar as notes get larger and more grandiose. “It seems to be part of this whole cluster of feelings that people find very hard to have words for,” Silvia says.
Zatorre says his findings have also helped musical anhedonics get well-meaning friends and family off their back. “People came to me saying, ‘I’m glad you’ve given us scientific proof, because now I can tell my friends to stop bugging me about music. It doesn’t do anything for me.’”
This is music….you’re allowed to hate, they were voted the worst band in the world!