Why Do You Get Goosebumps While Listening To Music?

Why Do You Get Goosebumps While Listening To Music?

Frisson typically lasts a few seconds, and involves piloerection-commonly known as goosebumps-and a release of dopamine. Some scientists believe that the sensation is tied to moments in music that are unexpected, and thus trigger a pleasurable version of our fight-or-flight response. One psychologist recorded frisson as a symptom of an SEM, or a "strong experience related to music." People who experience SEMs can also exhibit tears, elevated heart rate, and feelings of giddiness.

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Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    When you're listening to a familiar song, your brain releases dopamine both before and during the song's peak. (0:14)

  • 2

    Some scientists theorize that "music chills" are caused by the body's fight-or-flight response. (0:53)

  • 3

    One study showed that about 90% of music students had experienced frisson. (1:33)

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