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Curr Biol. 2014 Mar 17;24(6):699-704. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.01.068. Epub 2014 Mar 6.

Dissociation between musical and monetary reward responses in specific musical anhedonia.

Author information

1
Cognition and Brain Plasticity Group, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute-IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, 08097 Barcelona, Spain.
2
Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 2B4, Canada; International Laboratory for Brain, Music, and Sound Research, Montreal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada.
3
Cognition and Brain Plasticity Group, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute-IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, 08097 Barcelona, Spain; Department of Basic Psychology, University of Barcelona, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, 08097 Barcelona, Spain; Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), 08010 Barcelona, Spain.
4
Cognition and Brain Plasticity Group, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute-IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, 08097 Barcelona, Spain; Department of Basic Psychology, University of Barcelona, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, 08097 Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address: josepmarco@gmail.com.

Abstract

Music has been present in all human cultures since prehistory [1, 2], although it is not associated with any apparent biological advantages (such as food, sex, etc.) or utility value (such as money). Nevertheless, music is ranked among the highest sources of pleasure [3], and its important role in our society and culture has led to the assumption that the ability of music to induce pleasure is universal. However, this assumption has never been empirically tested. In the present report, we identified a group of healthy individuals without depression or generalized anhedonia who showed reduced behavioral pleasure ratings and no autonomic responses to pleasurable music, despite having normal musical perception capacities. These persons showed preserved behavioral and physiological responses to monetary reward, indicating that the low sensitivity to music was not due to a global hypofunction of the reward network. These results point to the existence of specific musical anhedonia and suggest that there may be individual differences in access to the reward system.

PMID:
24613311
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2014.01.068
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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