Why can’t science be fun?
I mean, sure – I’d love to see cancer cures, and schizophrenia cures and even more on the promising telomeric theory of living forever. But sometimes, we learn a lot of things that seem – if not useless, then inconsequential –and they prove invaluable later on in ways we can never predict.
Would you like to know in advance if a pop song is going to be a big hit? I’m sure some people would. Believe it or not, that has been the topic of recent research. Okay, so it is a small study. Who would fund further research on this one? There is a certain part of the tender adolescent brain (remember, our brains don’t get completely myelinated until age 28. That means we do not have all the fatty-insulation around the nerves to conduct impulses) that reacts in a very interesting way to music. Based mostly on animal studies, the ventral striatum seems to be associated with emotions that generate behavior. This differentiates it from the dorsal striatum, which has mostly sensorimotor control. Makes sense. Although they are similar, these two different types of behavior are slightly different. Sometimes we decide what we want to do by what we feel physically. If it is too cold, we go for a jacket. The sensory input probably goes through at least a couple of brain centers, like thermoregulation. Read more on Using Science To Predict Pop Music Hits…