Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pain made pleasant

A study by psychologists at the University of Montreal have found that listening to pleasant music decreases sensations of pain. Emotional valence contributes to music-induced analgesia, by Roy, Peretz, and Rainville, found that when participants listened to music they judged as pleasant, they tolerated high levels of heat (up to 48.5 deg C.) as less painful and more pleasant than the control group that listened to silence. Listening to unpleasant music was not different from listening to silence. So, if you know you are going to experience some pain, bring along music you find to be pleasant.

2 comments:

Eric Edberg said...

OK, but then how come so many concerts are painful experiences?

Scott Spiegelberg said...

Perhaps because the music is vulnerable to the concert pain (much like Green Lantern and things yellow)? More seriously, the listening experience has to be pleasant to create the analgesic effect. This was shown in the experiment, as music picked by the experimenters as pleasant wasn't as effective if the listeners didn't judge it as pleasant. And finally, imagine what the concert experience would be like if the music wasn't pleasant...