Summary #918

Uncertainty and Surprise Jointly Predict Musical Pleasure and Amygdala, Hippocampus, and Auditory Cortex Activity

cell.com
  • Analysis of 80,000 chord progressions of 745 pop songs from 30 years of a “Hot 100” toplist shows how expectations influence pleasure from listening to music.
  • Chord progressions are pleasurable if they’re different from what we expect, or exactly what we expect — but surrounded by unfamiliar sounds.
  • Previous research suggested that the nucleus accumbens plays a leading part in this process, but it’s actually the amygdala, hippocampus, and auditory cortex.

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