The extraordinary phenomenon of frisson

Frisson is the French word meaning “shiver”, but in this case, we’re not shivering because we’re cold, we’re shivering because we’re stimulated by music.

When we hear a certain piece of music or view a particular work of art, there may be an intense psychological and physiological reaction. “You have this sudden rush of dopamine,” explains psychologist Dr Rebecca Johnson-Osei. “It’s a similar pathway that gets activated with sex and other things that are rewarding to our brains.” 

Filmed and presented by Greg Dukes

Commissioning Editor: Griesham Taan

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