According To Science, Music Stimulates the Same Part of the Brain as Sex

August 6, 2019

Sex, Drugs and Rock n' Roll have been synonymous with each other since the 1960's. But the reason why they pair so well together could be much more scientific than we thought.

Scientists believed that the part of the brain that produces dopamine which creates the intense feelings of pleasure from sex, taking recreational drugs, or consuming delicious food can also be stimulated by listening to your favorite songs.

To replicate those same feelings, Dr. Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist/musician/record producer of McGill University in Canada lead a team of researchers to temoprarily block the flow of natural dopamine through the use of Naltrexone (NXT).

In a double-blind experiment, seventeen participants were instructed to listen to their favorite songs that produced intense feelings of pleasure for them. But due to the NXT, they did not experience their brain's normal reward system they typically feel after listening.   

According to Dr. McGill, “One said: ‘I know this is my favourite song but it doesn’t feel like it usually does’. “Another admitted: ‘It sounds pretty, but it’s not doing anything for me’.”

He says that their experiment was the first time they were to scientifically prove that music can trigger the natural opiods in the brain in the same way as sex, drugs, food and other vices. McGill hopes that their findings can be useful in helping treat addiction.

And as William Shakespeare once said, “If music be the food of love, play on. Give me excess of it; that surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die.”