Publicado el: Mie, Feb 8th, 2017

La música desata en el cerebro las mismas sustancias placenteras que el sexo

image_content_7847339_20170208095656Las mismas sustancias químicas que regulan en el cerebro las sensaciones placenteras generadas por el sexo, las drogas recreativas o la comida intervienen en el disfrute de la música, según un estudio que publica hoy la revista “Nature”.

La investigación, desarrollada por la Universidad McGill de Montreal (Canadá), ha permitido constatar, por primera vez, que el sistema opioideo influye en las áreas del cerebro humano que se activan con estímulos placenteros.

“Esta es la primera prueba de que los opioides propios del cerebro están directamente implicados en el placer musical”, destaca Daniel Levitin, uno de los autores del estudio.

Los trabajos anteriores del experto y su equipo llegaron a producir mapas de las áreas del cerebro que se activan con la música, pero solo pudieron sospechar que esos químicos neuronales eran los responsables del placer.

Para este último experimento, los científicos bloquearon de manera selectiva y temporal los citados opioideos a través del uso de naltrexona, un medicamento empleado habitualmente en tratamientos para la dependencia de opiáceos y alcohol.

Se requirió a los 17 participantes que se sometieran a análisis de sangre en el año anterior al experimento
A continuación, midieron las reacción de los participantes en el estudio, 17 en total, a los estímulos musicales y constataron que incluso sus temas favoritos dejaban de generar sensaciones placenteras.

“Las conclusiones respondieron a nuestras hipótesis. Pero las anécdotas, las impresiones que compartieron con nosotros los participantes después del experimento, fueron fascinantes”, explica Levitin.

Un sujeto dijo que sabía que la canción que acababa de escuchar era una de sus preferidas, pero que no le había producido las mismas sensaciones que en ocasiones anteriores y otro aportó: “Suena bien, pero no me dice nada”.

La universalidad de la música y su capacidad para afectar profundamente a las emociones sugieren que existe un origen evolutivo, por lo que “estos nuevos descubrimientos aportan más pruebas sobre la base biológica evolutiva de la música”, opina Levitin.

“Esta es la primera prueba de que los opioides propios del cerebro están directamente implicados en el placer musical”
Los científicos también recuerdan que ciertas actividades que disfrutamos los humanos, como tomar alcohol, practicar sexo o jugar a las cartas, entre otras muchas, pueden también generar dependencias que dañan nuestras vidas y relaciones.

Por esos motivos, consideran que los avances en el estudio del origen neuroquímico del placer son una pieza clave para la neurociencia en general, a pesar de que los expertos solo han desarrollado recientemente las herramientas y métodos necesarios para efectuar este tipo de investigaciones en humanos.

Según Levitin, este ha sido el estudio “más difícil y complicado” en el que ha participado su equipo “en 20 años de investigaciones”.

“Cada vez que se da una droga recetada a un estudiante universitario que no la necesita por motivos de salud, hay que asegurarse de que no tendrá efectos secundarios nocivos”, advierte el investigador.

En este sentido, se requirió a los 17 participantes que se sometieran a análisis de sangre en el año anterior al experimento, para comprobar que no tenían condiciones que podrían empeorar con el fármaco.

Sobre El Autor

- Estudiante de término de Comunicación Social

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