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Blog Pick of the Month – February

Tiesto live @ TMF at the bridge by Rick Smit,

Is our proclivity for music due to societal and cultural influences, or is there a resonance for beats in our brains?

The winner of this month’s Blog Pick of the Month is Ben Good from the B Good Science Blog who covered two papers, one from PLoS ONE, the other from Nature Neuroscience – describing how the enjoyment of a song correlates to changes in brain activation, as well as fluctuations in other body metrics, like respiration rate, body temperature, and skin moisture.

So what songs are likely to cause these kind of effects? Well another study by the same research group came out with a list of instrumental songs most likely to cause the ‘chill factor’ according to their observations. They asked their participants to select 3-5 songs which caused the chill factor for them. They were not allowed to pick songs that they had an emotional connection to (e.g. “Aww this our song!”) or songs from films (unless they hadnt seen the film), this was to try to reduce any prior associations with the song. The songs ranged from from classical to jazz.

For their work, Ben and the authors of the study will receive a complimentary PLoS ONE t-shirt.

Aside from providing insight into music and the brain with a really intriguing post, Ben also drove my MP3 choices for the remainder of the day. Nicely done.

Photo via Flickr / Rick_Smit

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