home
RSS
What makes a song popular? The brain may know
June 10th, 2011
05:25 PM ET

What makes a song popular? The brain may know

Do you know a future hit when you hear one?

New research from Emory University suggests that particular patterns of brain activity may be able to predict the popularity of music. More importantly, says lead researcher Gregory Berns, brain research might help forecast how culturally influential ideas can become. The study will be published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

Berns and colleagues discovered the phenomenon accidentally. They had set out to look at the effects of popular opinion on adolescent preferences, using 120 songs by unsigned artists on MySpace that the participants probably hadn't heard of before. They conducted the experiment in 2006 with 27 participants aged 12 to 17, and used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to record brain responses to each of the songs.

Most of these songs didn't ever sell well. But in a few cases, they realized in the intervening years, several of the songs had gone on to become more widely popular, such as “Apologize” by One Republic.

Comparing brain response data with sales of those songs from 2007 to 2010, they found a correlation between particular brain responses and songs that would go on to sell more than 20,000 units. About 1/3 of the songs that sold more than this drew strong activity from two brain regions associated with reward. Weak responses were even better at predicting flops; lower activity was associated with about 90% of songs selling less than 20,000 units.

Strong activity in two brain regions could predict hits about 1/3 of the time. Weak activity was even better at predicting non-hits.

There are caveats, of course. The sample size of 27 is relatively small, and may not be representative of the general population, although teenagers do tend to buy a lot of music, Berns said.

The two brain regions researchers identified as important in this study, called the orbitofrontal cortex and ventral striatum, have been shown previously to be activated in situations where a person is anticipating something that he or she likes. That could be money, music, wine, and other items that people purchase.

"There's the sense that this circuit is somehow representing common utility or value to the person," Berns said.

Interestingly, the brain responses in those regions were better predictors of song success than whether the participants said they liked or disliked any given song. Berns speculates that's because when someone asks you what you think of a song, you might tailor your answer to what you believe the questioner wants to hear. The brain response may be the raw feeling you have about it.

While previous research looked at individual preferences, this study suggests that brain scans can predict widespread preferences of others. And actually, there are plenty of "neuromarketing" companies out there trying to exploit that idea, although these researchers are not affiliated with them.

Berns and colleagues are also studying how religious and political ideology are represented in the brain.

"There’s no reason why we couldn’t apply the same type of techniques to understand how people process concepts and ideas, and try to forecast whether those will will have staying power," he said.


soundoff (708 Responses)
  1. remodel motorhome interior

    https://intelliconnect.cch.com/scion/auth.jsp?AUTH_REDIRECT_URL=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-murrieta-california

    May 20, 2021 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. bus mechanic near me

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having problems with your RSS. I don’t understand why I cannot join it. Is there anybody getting identical RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    http://enseignants.flammarion.com/Banners_Click.cfm?ID=86&URL=www.ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-blinds-repair-near-me

    May 20, 2021 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. rv renovation near me

    https://www.ttf.sdsu.edu/?URL=ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-installation-near-me

    May 20, 2021 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. rex trailers horse

    http://www.partner.pccomponentes.com/servlet/effi.redir?id_compteur=13365084&url=https://ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-toilet-repair-near-me/

    May 21, 2021 at 01:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Seats Los Angeles

    Hello there! I just wish to offer you a huge thumbs up for the great info you've got right here on this post. I am coming back to your web site for more soon.

    https://www.bashinform.ru/go/?http://ocrv.art/rv-repair-shop-poway-california

    May 21, 2021 at 05:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Chassis Repair

    I want to to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I have you saved as a favorite to check out new things you post…

    http://p-bandai.jp/access/fleetautorepairshop.com/courier-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 21, 2021 at 06:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. custom rv services

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article plus the rest of the site is also really good.

    https://go.20script.ir/index.php?url=https://ocrvmotorcoaches.com/rv-tire-repair-near-me

    May 21, 2021 at 07:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. paint a dream palmdale

    http://www.meinvz.net/Link/Dereferrer/?https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-encino-california/

    May 21, 2021 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. fabrication near me

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the highest quality blogs on the net. I will highly recommend this website!

    &id=1070977&business_id=2069

    May 21, 2021 at 08:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. blind repair orange county

    http://m.caijing.com.cn/member/logout?referer=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-downey-california/

    May 21, 2021 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. rv tire installation near me

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I really hope to check out the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now 😉

    https://glowing.com/external/link?next_url=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-solana-beach-california/

    May 21, 2021 at 11:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Video Marketing Services

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site. I am hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own site now 😉

    http://www.aspenaerogel.at/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://affordableranking.com/

    May 21, 2021 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Video Marketing Company

    https://blacktop.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://affordableranking.com/

    May 21, 2021 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. what kind of paint to use on a horse trailer

    Everyone loves it whenever people come together and share ideas. Great site, keep it up!

    https://ttf.sdsu.edu/?URL=ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-mission-hills-california/

    May 21, 2021 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. rv awning replacement near me

    Good article! We are linking to this particularly great post on our site. Keep up the good writing.

    https://glorioustronics.com/redirect.php?link=https://ocrvcenter.com/camper-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    May 21, 2021 at 17:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Roof Los Angeles

    This web site certainly has all the info I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    http://wwwnuevo.jus.mendoza.gov.ar/c/blogs/find_entry?p_l_id=29236&noSuchEntryRedirect=https://ciququ.com/?p=12

    May 21, 2021 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Video Marketing Agency

    http://www.generalbeer.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 21, 2021 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. SEO Marketing Consultant

    https://saindia.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 21, 2021 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Digital Marketing Agency Near Me

    I need to to thank you for this great read!! I definitely loved every bit of it. I have got you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post…

    https://www.mjsa.org/bg_track?id=43510&result_id=85140&url=https://www.affordableranking.com/

    May 22, 2021 at 02:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. rv appliance repair near me

    I'm extremely pleased to uncover this great site. I wanted to thank you for ones time for this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every bit of it and I have you book-marked to see new stuff on your website.

    http://czech-guide.aspone.cz/language.aspx?culture=cs-CZ&ReturnUrl=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-step-repair-near-me

    May 22, 2021 at 04:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. the truck shop orange

    http://www.montauk-online.com/cgibin/tracker.cgi?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-artesia-california/

    May 22, 2021 at 05:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Local Marketing Firms

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the little changes that produce the greatest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    http://www.cspan.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 22, 2021 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Center California

    This is a topic that's near to my heart... Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?

    /

    May 22, 2021 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. gallery xnxx

    Saved as a favorite, I love your website!

    http://track.affsrc.com/track/clicks/3171/c627c2b89e0522dbfe9cbd2e8d2b8914736245cb75e9f0ab416db1046005?t=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-driver-seat-repair-near-me

    May 22, 2021 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Digital Marketing Consultant

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this blog. I am hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own blog now 😉

    http://breannamarie.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 22, 2021 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Digital Marketing Specialist

    I was able to find good advice from your articles.

    http://www.absportsfun.com/v2/Home/SetCulture?culture=en-US&returnUrl=http://www.affordableranking.com

    May 22, 2021 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. repair rv door

    http://fudou-san.com/link/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=2898&url=ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-hermosa-beach-california/

    May 22, 2021 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Google Marketing Services

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously think this web site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the advice!

    https://ref.gamer.com.tw/redir.php?url=http://affordableranking.com/

    May 22, 2021 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Camera Los Angeles

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will come back yet again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

    /

    May 22, 2021 at 17:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Toilets Orange County

    https://finalcashback.net/link.php?i=4ec4a98f6a6b4&m=54a556a3a9f3e&guid=ON&url=https://tuopanjiupin.com/comment/html/index.php?page=1&id=465

    May 22, 2021 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Camera California

    Very good information. Lucky me I ran across your site by chance (stumbleupon). I've saved it for later!

    https://www.prmac.com/external_link.php?release=34382&l=1&url=https://www.guenterreiter.eu/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=1&Itemid=4&limitstart=65080

    May 22, 2021 at 23:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Plumbing California

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this post plus the rest of the website is really good.

    http://fullstepminecraftthailand.siam2web.com/change_language.asp?language_id=en&MemberSite_session=site_95801_&link=http://ocrvcenter.net/rv-repair-shop-la-tuna-canyon-california

    May 23, 2021 at 01:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Social Media Marketing Services

    https://www.intensivecare.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 23, 2021 at 03:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. rv service near my location

    http://services.nfpa.org/Authentication/GetSSOSession.aspx?return=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-imperial-beach-california/

    May 23, 2021 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Unitmerienepeft

    where to buy tadalafil on line tadalafil cialis buy cialis tadalafil brands https://cttadalafil.com/ – tadalafil cialis

    May 23, 2021 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. cyclomune

    buy cyclosporine usa buy cyclomune usa

    May 23, 2021 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Windows Near Me

    https://www.faseb.org/pdfviewer?loadthis=http://ocrv.world/rv-repair-shop-lake-view-terrace-california

    May 23, 2021 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Social Media Marketing Agency Around Me

    http://esitesetup.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 23, 2021 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. tausAffessy

    side effects for tadalafil https://tadalafilww.com/ – buy cialis tadalafil dosage cost of cialis tadalafil without a doctor prescription

    May 24, 2021 at 10:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Furniture Near Me

    http://navi-mxm.dojin.com/cgi-bin/ys/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=3385&url=https://nxbiz.com.au/index.php/services-details-1/item/1-plans-for-growing-businesses?limit=10&start=756380

    May 24, 2021 at 11:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Tritreviewifind

    generic cialis online fast shipping cost of cialis lowest price cialis https://tadalafilww.com/

    May 24, 2021 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Tires California

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day. It will always be exciting to read articles from other writers and practice a little something from their web sites.

    /

    May 24, 2021 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. rv restoration

    /

    May 24, 2021 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. rv interior remodeling companies

    http://blackfive.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=museca.com/blog/00086/

    May 24, 2021 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Unitmerienepeft

    side effects for tadalafil cost of cialis buy tadalis tadalafil goodrx https://tadagatadalafil.com/

    May 24, 2021 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. wrap shop near me

    /

    May 24, 2021 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Forklift Rental Orange County

    Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your website is very useful. Thank you for sharing!

    https://triathlon.org/?URL=https://forkliftswildwestlifttrucks.com/jungheinrich-forklift-repair-orange-county-california

    May 25, 2021 at 02:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Used Forklifts

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who has been conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me lunch because I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this matter here on your blog.

    https://sc.hkex.com.hk/gb/forkliftswildwestlifttrucks.com/garden-grove-forklifts/

    May 25, 2021 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Local Marketing Companies Near Me

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the most useful websites on the internet. I will recommend this site!

    https://www.teensteam.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 25, 2021 at 07:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Digital Marketing Agency Near Me

    It’s hard to find well-informed people in this particular topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    https://www.tariftip.de/?isampredir=http3A2F2Faffordableranking.com&isampref=636226334489999173&ampref=2FNews2F476652FHuawei-G-Play-mini.html2Famp

    May 25, 2021 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Leave a Reply to 45vinyljunkie


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.