Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Neuroimage. 2005 Oct 15;28(1):175-84. Epub 2005 Jul 14.

The rewards of music listening: response and physiological connectivity of the mesolimbic system.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305, USA. menon@stanford.edu

Abstract

Although the neural underpinnings of music cognition have been widely studied in the last 5 years, relatively little is known about the neuroscience underlying emotional reactions that music induces in listeners. Many people spend a significant amount of time listening to music, and its emotional power is assumed but not well understood. Here, we use functional and effective connectivity analyses to show for the first time that listening to music strongly modulates activity in a network of mesolimbic structures involved in reward processing including the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA), as well as the hypothalamus and insula, which are thought to be involved in regulating autonomic and physiological responses to rewarding and emotional stimuli. Responses in the NAc and the VTA were strongly correlated pointing to an association between dopamine release and NAc response to music. Responses in the NAc and the hypothalamus were also strongly correlated across subjects, suggesting a mechanism by which listening to pleasant music evokes physiological reactions. Effective connectivity confirmed these findings, and showed significant VTA-mediated interaction of the NAc with the hypothalamus, insula, and orbitofrontal cortex. The enhanced functional and effective connectivity between brain regions mediating reward, autonomic, and cognitive processing provides insight into understanding why listening to music is one of the most rewarding and pleasurable human experiences.

PMID:
16023376
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk