New Study Finds That Some People Are Incapable of Enjoying Music

By Annie Reuter

A new study shows that some people don’t actually have the ability to enjoy music.

In an interview with The Verge, Josep Marco-Pallerés, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Barcelona opened up about his new study which analyzes the dissociation between musical and monetary reward responses. According to Marco-Pallerés, there are people out there who feel completely indifferent to music.

“Music isn’t rewarding for them, even though other kinds of rewards, like money, are,” he said. “It just doesn’t affect them.”

Researchers studied 30 university students who had been identified as very sensitive to music, moderately sensitive or not sensitive at all after they answered a questionnaire. They then monitored each student’s heart rates and sweat levels during listening sessions which included familiar pieces of music.

“We asked them to bring music from home that they like,” Marco-Pallerés explained, “and most of them had problems doing that.”

Some involved in the study didn’t own any music at all, so they borrowed music from a family member. In his summary, Marco-Pallerés noted that his research found that for some, music has no source of pleasure.

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