Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Medicine. Anything human!
I have a question concerning sounds and why my brain reacts the way it does to some sounds. I have wondered this for years and tried to look online for answers but did not know how to find the answer. I want an answer from someone who knows the answer, not from someone guessing. Hopefully one of you knows something about sound and how sound, the ear and the brain interact.
As long as I can remember I have had a delightful reaction to certain sounds. Even as a kid I recall enjoying some sounds so much that I did not want that sound to stop. Some examples of my experiences are the rustling of papers, or even people turning the pages of books in a library. My sister used to put curlers in her hair and the sound of her going through her box of curlers would cause a certain reaction to my body. The reaction I am talking about is like this....
My body reacts to the sounds as if I am taking a drug almost. It is so pleasant that I want it to go on forever. I get chills in a good way and my entire body will react to the sound. Nothing sexual here it is more like a drug. I will even eventually get sleepy from it and start to close my eyes. It is almost too much pleasure and peace at once when it happens. There are dozens of these kinds of sounds that causes this. For example my husband is in the grandkids playroom right now cleaning it up and there are all kinds of pleasant sounds. The sounds of legos being thrown in a box together drives me to feel that sensation of complete peace and a kind of high. Like I said before it is like being drugged. That is the closest thing I can think of comparing it to.
Sometimes I even go on YouTube to listen to people unbox certain items because the sounds are so addicting. I will listen for a couple hours sometimes.(Like the unboxing of the XBox, all those opening of the plastic green and orange bags). Don't get me wrong, it is not something that interferes with my life. Normally I do not seek it out, only once in a while.
But my big question is what is the biology or physics of what is happening? Why do certain sounds do this to me? I ask because I have never once heard of anyone else saying sounds do this to them. It does not happen everyday but it does often and has my whole life. I use to love going to the library in college because I knew how pleasant a time I would have listening to the workers reshelve books and people turning pages.
But what is the physical thing that is happening to me to cause this pleasure? It is almost as good as sex because this can go on for a long time. It is like the sound is producing some chemical in my brain to cause me to feel this pleasant peaceful sound and feeling and it makes me sleepy. It is the most peaceful thing I have ever experienced.
Does this just happen to me or does it happen to others and no one just talks about it? There has to be something written somewhere about this phenomena. There is some kind of physical reaction going on and I just want to know how my body is biologically and physically reacting to these sounds.
Does anyone here know?
Hmmm... most interesting. Now, I am only a high school student, so sorry if I am incorrect...
I also experience this feeling, but for me, it is music. And some music, or intervals which have a particular "feel" to them, excite me to a high, and instead of feeling drowsy, I feel wide awake and alert until the wee hours in the morning. Now, the chemical that is probably being released in plentiful is serotonin, which may give you the feeling of being under the influence of psychedelic drugs, however this usually is accompanied by high levels of energy, likewise for me. The reaction of sleepiness when produced with something pleasurable is something unusual, however an infinite calm when you are high on "sound" is nevertheless possible.
This kind of peacefulness I achieve also with particular music, which I attach emotions to. For example, James Horner's Titanic and A Beautiful Mind, is what I listen to on a daily basis to sleep. Perhaps, just the soft, low noise in the background resembles some event in your childhood in which you used to feel happy and go to sleep listening to, resulting in the music having an emotion attached to it. Such as, in Year 5, I was stung by many wasps from a wasp nest, so from that day forward, I would react to bees in a negative way, and I will often grow cold and shiver whenever I am near them, as well as run away.
Just a hypothesis...
Thanks for taking the time to reply to my question.
I know what you mean about music but it is not the same thing at all, at least for me. I love music, in fact it has helped me through life but the phenomena I am speaking about is totally different.
The sounds I react to almost incapacitate me. Not in a bad way and I can control it. I don't have to allow it to do that but I like it so much I submit to it and let it carry me away. It affects my entire body. Sometimes it rushes through me and I can feel it all over, in my arms, legs, like a tingly sensation but most of all in my brain where the feeling originates. It is like I can feel it go from my brain into all parts of my body totally relaxing me.
I am just so very curious what chemicals are being released in my brain to cause these sensations caused by sounds. I wish there was a way to really express it because maybe then I could find answers somewhere. It seems no one has ever done a study on how sounds affect peoples bodies.
Probably not, you sound like a rare person!!! Anyway, if you were to describe the feeling as one related to a common day substance such as, morphine or an opiate-based substance, etc., what would you describe it as? That may give you a place to start looking at the chemicals released.
The closest thing I can relate it to from my own experience is probably opiates. But there is also more to it. The spine tingling sensations that I get from the sound which I cannot relate to opiates. I find it hard to believe no one else has ever had physical reactions to sounds. I cannot possibly be that rare. And all this has been with me since I can remember, my point being it did begin as a result of taking any kind of medicines or anything I can think of. I posted in here thinking there had to be people out there that have had the same experience and/or someone has done a study on how the brain is physically reacting to sound.
What I wish I knew was what chemicals are being released and HOW does sound manage to do that to my brain? Perhaps it is a psychological response to the sound which then affects my brain. Guess I will never know but I am surprised no one else I have come across has ever had this reaction. It is almost a daily event. When it happens I don't want the sound to stop. If we could market it the tranquilizer would no longer be needed by anyone.
I've just started doing some research of my own on this matter, because until now I thought I was the only person who experienced this. You described what I feel perfectly, except I get the same sensations from certain peoples voices as well. If they leave a voice mail I will play it back over and over and over again. I first noticed it with paper, but it has moved into many different things, like the other day a girl at work was wrapping the cord of the vacuum cleaner up and it hit me. I stopped everything I was doing to simply listen to the sound.
I've tried to recreate the sensation, but it only happens when other people are creating the sound. Please let me know what you find out and I will do the same for you. I was very surprised to find someone else who has the same situation.
i am Kim, and im writing in response to your earlier post concerning your reaction to certain sounds.
i have looked all over the web, and this is the only conversation that i can find regarding this matter
I just wanted to let you know that i have experienced the exact saame thing ever since i can remember, and your not alone lol.
My wonderfull feeling is in response to sounds that others make, wierdly enough when they eat around me, the sound of chewing, or talking in a certain way, or even as you said the turning of a page. i used to give a chewing gum to my sister, just so i could listen and become entirely relaxed. i think this feeling is an amazing phenomina and some research should definately be done which i would be willing to take part or help in any way.
The feelings is just great though isnt it. as you said its just like a drug. i get a loverly tingling sensation all over my head, just like when someon is playing with your hair....
....wierd but nice
Hi, I wanted to reply to the posts of Mem and Kim- I have exactly the same thing and I´m so glad I found this site, cause it´s really hard to find anything about this phenomenon.
I´ve had it since I was a kid. When for example someone would draw something on paper with like a felt tip pen I could just listen to it and look at it for hours cause it felt so good. Like a tingling sensation. The best way I can describe it, it´s like my brains is getting a massage. It´s great. And I agree with Mem it´s does feel like a sort of high you get with some drugs. It´s weird but good-
I experience it mostly with rustling of papers or listening to someone drawing or painting. But also when someone is giftwrapping a present. I would feel so relaxed, almost sleepy. Sometimes it feels like I´m being hypnotized or something. Once at work someone was explaining something but at the same time was goning through a paper folder. I didn´t hear a thing he said because of the sound of the paper rustling. So strange, I wanted it to go on and on...
Sometimes it happens when someone is eating an apple or something to loudly or talk a certain way. I don´t why some sounds cause this responce and other dont.
I don´t know if you have the same thing but with the rustling of paper of drawing I get the reaction more if I also watch it, not just listen?
This video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEFXim9eSWA does it to me everytime. Just block out the talking and listen to sound of the drawing and paper...
Maybe lots of people experience this, but just don´t talk about it. I guess that explains why Bob Ross is so popular
Well, I just wanted to share it. It's good to know more people have the same great brainmassage feeling !
I can relate. I always have known it was unusual to get such a feeling from certain sounds but I know exactly what you guys are talking about. It used to happen all the time i remember in elementary school, but it rarely happens now. I think it's just how some people are wired, how some signal gets triggered by the realization of a certain sound that completely puts you in a state of relaxation, and gives you the feeling of your hair sticking up on your head. I think its just some sort conditioning, that some people have, maybe one's that have a better ability to focus on things. what i've noticed though is that it's always completely quiet other than the specific relaxing sound in the situation. sometimes its someone's voice that gives the feeling, usually a very mellow person. or papers slowly crinkling or rustling, or being turned...it's odd but it's a very rare thing that is nothing to complain about having lol.
I'm really thrilled to find other on here reacting to sound in the same way, I googled to find this forum and didn't see anything else.
I've also had this since childhood and assumed that everyone was the same as me, clearly not!
I have the same tingly sensations that I get whilst having my hair brushed, but my sounds are different. I used to react in a quiet office hearing the cleaners spray polish on to the desk and hearing the quiet hum of the hoover. It had to be a quiet office so I could tune in properly (working overtime usually and late often that's why the cleaners were in). I also remember from my childhood watching my Nan colouring in (playing with our toys with us) and the sound of the colouring in had the same effect. Sounds a bit odd writing it all down!
Has anyone found out anything more on this strange effect?
I have the exact same problem as MEM! Chewing gum, water sounds, the sound of clothes being washed in a river, poping and chewing of gum, hair cutting...
Strange sounds give me the feeling as good or better than any drug and the affect is nearly instant. I think I am receiving dopamine from my brain as a "thank you" for the sounds.
The problem is not like the rush of beautiful music but closer to spin tingling and euphoric affect you might have as an amazing scene in a movie occurs, or the feeling your first intimate kiss gave you.
I have turrets syndrome and I do many strange things as a result. WOW! I thought I was the only one.
Wow, I'm fascinated that I found this subject. I'm the only person I know that seems to have this sort of reaction to certain sounds. When I used to try to describe it to others, they didn't understand what I meant - this is much more than "liking" certain sounds. (I don't tell anyone any more.)
My physical reaction is exactly like yours. Very pleasureable, and actually hard to stay awake if it goes on for some time. (A quick story: Many years ago I worked at a grocery store as a cashier. When the "chip man" would come to restock the potato chips (rustling plastic bags), I would actually have to lean against my counter, as my knees got too weak to hold myself up. Seriously.)
The sounds that trigger this physical reaction are many: rustling plastic bags, rustling paper, a broom sweeping a floor, distant snow shovelling, pencils banging together in a pencil case (I was very young when I first discovered this "thing" at school), a spray bottle being sprayed... and many more but I can't think of them right now.
I've actually been toying with the idea of finding a sound person to make me a recording of these sounds, and just looping them. I'd use it to put myself to sleep at night. (I've actually hung plastic bags out my bedroom window to hear them rustle in the wind to help me fall asleep - I kid you not!)
Edited to add that I forgot one of my very favourite sounds (someone else mentioned it too!): library books being reshelved. How weird!
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