Inside the Heads of People Who Don't Like Music

Believe it or not, there are people out there who couldn’t care less about music. Songs of love and heartbreak don’t bring them to tears, complex classical compositions don’t amaze them, and peppy beats don’t make them want to dance. Those folks suffer from what’s known as musical anhedonia, which is a neurological condition characterized by an inability to derive pleasure from music. Music is often considered to be a universal language, and individuals with musical anhedonia may find it difficult to understand why they don't gain pleasure from it. For people who enjoy music, activity in the brain’s auditory and reward regions is closely coupled and, for them, hearing a song results in joy and pleasure. However, in the brains of people with specific musical anhedonia, researchers have found that the auditory and reward regions of the brain simply don't interact in response to music. Those who happen to suffer from musical anhedonia say the only suffering they experience is being mocked by other people because they don’t understand it.