There's A Scientific Reason Why People May Not Like Britney Spears
It has nothing to do with her back catalogue or her choice of outfits.
Before you get all defensive about old Britney, don't worry, we have nothing against her at all, it's simply music -- and not even HER music -- that you may not like because, science.
You see, a recent study by Canadian and Spanish researchers has found that there is a certain group of people who don't get any pleasure from music at all. Ever.
Britney or no.
A study published in Current Biology says that “music anhedonics” -- the people in question -- do not enjoy music and that KIND OF BLOWS OUR MINDS.
Importantly, these people are not “amusic” which means they can't interpret it or perceive a tune -- no, “music anhedonics” perceive music in the same way as the rest of the population, they just don't get anything from it -- no physical reaction at all. Any of course, as any Britney fan would tell you (or any Gaga fan, too) there is a lot to get. I mean, who HASN'T at least danced around the loungeroom to Toxic? (I'm of course asking for a friend).
Look, these people are not wowsers. Or boring. Despite appearances. Just kidding.
And they're not people who generally don’t enjoy pleasure either -- for instance, they're not depressed, they're not highly inhibited, and they are just as sensitive as other people to other types of non-musical rewards (such as food, money, sex, exercise, and drugs).
They simply don’t experience chills or similar physical responses to pleasurable music in the way that other people do.
It's simply fascinating.
When the rest of us listen to music, the “pleasure chemical” dopamine is released in part of the brain’s reward system. It does this in the same way as say when we eat food or have sex. During the peak of the music, we experience chills and other signs that our body’s autonomic nervous system -- responsible for regulating involuntary body functions -- is being aroused, and this is when the dopamine is released in the nearby ventral striatum.
But when these anhedonics listen to music, the patterns seem to be different. They just don't feel the same physical pleasure from it.
However, turns out they can appreciate music as an art form -- in an intellectual or analytical manner.
You see the reward circuitry of the brain is also activated by aesthetically beautiful stimuli -- and other frontal brain regions involved in aesthetic judgment are also activated when we see or hear something lovely. It may be possible then for music anhedonics to still appreciate and enjoy music, even if their reward brain circuitry differs a little from those of us who can experience more physical responses. They won't get much fun out of it, but they will appreciate it's good. Get it?
That there is some interesting science.
Feature Image: Getty