Music has always had a profound effect on people, but how our physical bodies react to it is something much different.
A recent study by PhD students at the University of Southern California has found that people who have a physical reaction to music, i.e. goosebumps, have a very unique brain. In fact, the study found that those who had this ability had a denser volume of fibres that connect the auditory cortex of their brain to the areas that process emotions.
In other words, their brains were uniquely wired to process and react to music more acutely than others. The study scanned the brains of twenty different people, and found that ten had a physical response to music. While the study size may be small, it's difficult to quantify if the phenomenon is unique as music often triggers personal memories for people.
In an interview with NeuroscienceNews.com, the study's author Matthew Sachs said that those who have this ability are more likely to experience deeper, more intense emotions than those that can't. "The idea being that more fibers and increased efficiency between two regions means that you have more efficient processing between them," explained Sachs.
In the same interview, one of the researchers on the study responded to Radiohead's 2006 track, Nude, and explained that she felt "that my breathing is going with the song, my heart is beating slower and I’m feeling just more aware of the song — both the emotions of the song and my body’s response to it."
Here's that track. See if it does anything to you.