I found an article from Smithsonian.com that discusses frisson, that delightful feeling of chills that overcomes you when listening to stirring music. I experience frisson all the time with music. Apparently not everyone does. (Dang, that would stink!)
According to the article, “The researchers found that the brains of individuals who occasionally feel a chill while listening to music were wired differently than the control subjects. They had more nerve fibers connecting the auditory cortex, the part of the brain that processes sound, to their anterior insular cortex, a region involved in processing feelings. The auditory cortex also had strong links to parts of the brain that may monitor emotions.”
This paragraph has my mind whirring. My brain has a bigger connection between the auditory region and the emotional region. Could this explain why I startle easily with loud sounds, feel deeply unsettled when someone raises a voice in anger, and become mentally jangled in a loud, crowded room with too many disparate voices? Is my ability to feel frisson just one part of a larger, system-wide way that I physically process sound as emotion that other people don’t experience? Might this explain some of the differences between highly sensitive people (often introverts, from what I’ve read, and I am an introvert) and those who don’t seem to be bothered by excessive outside stimuli?
Methinks the scientists studying frisson have more work to do. I’d be a willing guinea pig if it means having a chance to listen to frisson-inducing music.
PS – Dear Facebook friends – This article is going to automatically post to Facebook once I hit publish. As one of my 2018 goals is to try to get off Facebook, I don’t want you to think I’m going back on my word. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to extricate myself from FB because my work page is tied to my personal account (never liked this about FB) and there is no way to completely leave FB without losing the work page. At this point, I have severely limited my use of FB, so if you leave a comment there, I might not see it right away. If you’d prefer, you can leave a comment here on my blog or send a comment through my Contact page, which can be found in the drop-down menu at the top of the blog. Thanks!