The big question: Do headphones make you a loner?

This weekend’s long read is by Daniel A. Gross in Nautilus:

… Recent looks at the evolution and neurology of music suggest we are not waltzing by ourselves. Musical experiences are inherently social, scientists tell us, even when they happen in private. When we listen alone, we feel together.

Istvan Molnar-Szakacs, Ph.D., a research neuroscientist at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles, has explored how music “creates the sense of social belonging,” as he writes in a 2015 paper, “Please Don’t Stop the Music.”

“When you’re home alone in your house, it feels empty,” he says. “And then you put on music and all of a sudden you feel better because you’re not alone. It’s not that literally you’re not alone. But you feel like you have company.”

Read on here.

exam student headphones

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  • Yes, headphones should qualify you as a loner. It’s a great thing to be able to do, especially when you’re on the train and an older fellow you know is trying to constantly talk to you – and who shuffles along quickly to catch up to you when the train arrives at its destination – to then be able to put on those headphones and tune him out! I have to do it every Thursday morning!! I’ve given up trying to hide on the train because he looks for me, but the headphones are my saviour!!!

  • I had to commute from Boston to St. Petersburg FL. for over a year. God invented headphones and the Ring to isolate one from screaming children, yipping rat dogs, and the truly dull conversations. Just in case during landings I played Hayden Masses.

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