If you react to certain kinds of music with goosebumps, you have a unique brain.
You may have a wider, richer range of emotions.
Those who get chills from music have structural differences in the brain, namely “a higher volume of fibers that connect their auditory cortex to the areas associated with emotional processing, which means the two areas communicate better.”
The phenomena called frisson (French for aesthetic chills) was studied by University of California’s Matthew Sachs, published this year in Oxford Academic.
“The idea being that more fibers and increased efficiency between two regions means that you have more efficient processing between them.”
Research suggests that people with this characteristic also have more active imaginations, appreciate beauty and nature, and are often more reflective and emotional.
It could be that it is not just the music itself that causes the reaction, but a particular importance it holds to someone, or the way it reminds them of a certain time in their life.
Very high notes and key changes that elicit goosebumps are an evolutionary reaction to surprise, sounding much like crying, a signal we recognize as distress.***
In the absence of trouble, the feeling emerges as joy or pleasure, rather than worry.
Sachs now believes that his findings could be used to treat mental illnesses such as depression.
“Depression causes an inability to experience pleasure of everyday things,” he says. “You could use music with a therapist to explore feelings.”
For me, this is a perfect example. Elegant voices that sound like crying. Goosebumps.