Lyrical Emotion

© Francois Etienne Du Plessis |

© Francois Etienne Du Plessis |

For most people, listening to music often times triggers strong emotional reactions, whether positive or negative.  But what if this weren’t the case for everyone?

A recent study featured in Science World Report  and conducted by researchers at the University of Barcelona and Catalonia’s Bellvitge Institute of Biological Investigation, set out to investigate why some people just can’t seem to get their everyday enjoyment out of music.

The study entitled Dissociation between Musical and Monetary Reward Responses in Specific Musical Anhedonia was recently published in Current Biology and involved a web questionnaire while having participants listen to music. Participants responded with “like”, “don’t like” or “no affect” by pressing a button.

The results? Surprisingly, the researchers found that some people “didn’t respond at all to the music”, said researcher Josep Marco. Researchers determined that these individuals may be suffering from what’s scientifically referred to as specific musical anhedonia.

Researchers estimate that approximately 1 to 5 people are affected by this symptom, but also stress that it is not an illness that needs to be fixed.

“The identification of these individuals could be very important to understanding the neural basis of music – that is, to understand how a set of notes (is) translated into emotions,” Marco said in a separate statement, according to the organization.

More information regarding the study can be found via the journal Current Biology.

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