Anhedonia, A Neural Condition Which Prevents You To Experience Pleasure When Listening To Music

Written by | January 7, 2017 14:09 | No Comments


Anhedonia is the inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable, such as exercise, hobbies, and music. Yes, some people never experience pleasure when listening to music. It’s certain that Iman doesn’t suffer from it, I don’t suffer from it and if you read Rock NYC you are probably too interested by music to suffer from anhedonia, but you can always test yourself on this page set up by the University of Barcelona team.

A new research, published in a recent issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, brings some new lights on the cause of this sad condition. The brain’s reward centers are involved in any kind of pleasure we experience, and in case of musical anhedonia, the brain shows less-than-average connectivity between the brain’s auditory processing and reward centers, according to this new study.

Because of the lack of interaction between these two parts of the brain, people with musical anhedonia can listen to any music and not feel anything at all, and this has nothing to do with other emotional responses that can be perfectly normal.

These people are rare but they do exist, and if this seems quite extraordinary because most people experience chills when they hear their favorite melody, ‘With our anhedonic group, they had no chills. They had no real response to music,’ Dr. Josep Marco-Pallares of the University of Barcelona told NPR in 2014.

If you are a science nerd, let’s just say that brain scans reveal that musical anhedonics showed less activity in the nucleus accumbens, a key structure in the brain’s reward network, when they were listening to music. However, their reward areas were normally activated when they won money for example… so it’s just the listening experience, the auditory processing which lacks connections.

And what about people with a higher-than-normal sensitivity to music? It’s simple, they show a high level of connectivity between these two parts of the brain. It’s insane when you think about it, music can be such a powerful element in someone’s life and I pity people who can’t experience its healing, and rewarding process


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