Music Changes Our Perception of Touch
Music is widespread in every culture in the world. It can evoke positive group feelings and may even play an important role in our ability to live together in large groups. After all, it has been said (first, by English playwright and poet William Congreve), “Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.”
Now, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) in Leipzig, Germany, have discovered music also has the power to influence how we perceive touch. For the experiment, participants placed their forearm through a curtain where it was stroked by a controlled robot movement while they listened to music they later evaluated from “not at all sexy” to “extremely sexy.” According to researchers, the more sensual the music, the more sensual the touches were perceived.