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Is music a drug? How music listening may trigger neurochemical responses in the brain

Mark Reybrouck (UGent) and Edith Van Dyck (UGent)
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Abstract
In this article, we explore the idea that music listening can achieve neurological and psychological effects that are somewhat similar to those facilitated by psychoactive substances. To motivate this claim, we delve into the mechanisms behind music perception, psychoactive substance use, and their mutual relationship, relying on recent developments in psychedelic therapy and neuropsychopharmacology. Using a comparative approach, we discuss some underlying mechanisms of peak experiences and their neurochemical properties and suggest that music may be regarded as an alternative psychoactive trigger, prompting neurochemical responses in the brain, with resulting feelings of coping, (aesthetic) pleasure, and reward.
Keywords
reward, pleasure, coping, peak experiences, neurochemistry, psychoactive drugs

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MLA
Reybrouck, Mark, and Edith Van Dyck. “Is Music a Drug? How Music Listening May Trigger Neurochemical Responses in the Brain.” MUSICAE SCIENTIAE, 2024, doi:10.1177/10298649241236770.
APA
Reybrouck, M., & Van Dyck, E. (2024). Is music a drug? How music listening may trigger neurochemical responses in the brain. MUSICAE SCIENTIAE. https://doi.org/10.1177/10298649241236770
Chicago author-date
Reybrouck, Mark, and Edith Van Dyck. 2024. “Is Music a Drug? How Music Listening May Trigger Neurochemical Responses in the Brain.” MUSICAE SCIENTIAE. https://doi.org/10.1177/10298649241236770.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Reybrouck, Mark, and Edith Van Dyck. 2024. “Is Music a Drug? How Music Listening May Trigger Neurochemical Responses in the Brain.” MUSICAE SCIENTIAE. doi:10.1177/10298649241236770.
Vancouver
1.
Reybrouck M, Van Dyck E. Is music a drug? How music listening may trigger neurochemical responses in the brain. MUSICAE SCIENTIAE. 2024;
IEEE
[1]
M. Reybrouck and E. Van Dyck, “Is music a drug? How music listening may trigger neurochemical responses in the brain,” MUSICAE SCIENTIAE, 2024.
@article{01HPVXEWSERJBR96CSNCX2XS2J,
  abstract     = {{In this article, we explore the idea that music listening can achieve neurological
and psychological effects that are somewhat similar to those facilitated by psychoactive
substances. To motivate this claim, we delve into the mechanisms behind music perception,
psychoactive substance use, and their mutual relationship, relying on recent developments in
psychedelic therapy and neuropsychopharmacology. Using a comparative approach, we
discuss some underlying mechanisms of peak experiences and their neurochemical properties
and suggest that music may be regarded as an alternative psychoactive trigger, prompting
neurochemical responses in the brain, with resulting feelings of coping, (aesthetic) pleasure,
and reward.}},
  author       = {{Reybrouck, Mark and Van Dyck, Edith}},
  issn         = {{1029-8649}},
  journal      = {{MUSICAE SCIENTIAE}},
  keywords     = {{reward,pleasure,coping,peak experiences,neurochemistry,psychoactive drugs}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{26}},
  title        = {{Is music a drug? How music listening may trigger neurochemical responses in the brain}},
  url          = {{http://doi.org/10.1177/10298649241236770}},
  year         = {{2024}},
}

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