2014 Volume 85 Issue 5 Pages 495-509
While enjoying music and other works of art, people sometimes experience “chills,” a strong emotional response characterized by a sensation of goose bumps or shivers. Such experiences differ from having goose bumps as a defense response or from shivering in reaction to cold temperatures. The current paper presents the phenomenon of music-induced chills and reviews the chill-related emotional response, autonomic nervous system activity, and brain activity. It also reviews the musico-acoustic features, listening contexts, and individual differences that cause chills. Based on the review, we propose a hypothetical model regarding the evocation of music-induced chills. Furthermore, we investigate the strong emotional response associated with chills by exploring the relationship between music-related chills and non-music-related chills, and discuss future research directions.