Valentine's Day is just around the corner, which means you're probably currently prepping your "Get Busy" playlist for that special date with your special someone. Mine is just basically a bunch of whale sounds on repeat, but I digress...
There's a reason why you create a playlist when you want to get some play -- as opposed to, like, watching an eff-ton of "Friends" or whatever. It's because science has basically proven that Beyoncé, Drake, Miley and all the rest get you hot. For myriad reasons.
"Music, in general, is more effective than many other things at putting people into various types of moods -- more so than pictures or other types of stimuli," neurologist Dr. Valorie Niloufar Salimpoor told MTV News.
And the reasons why you feel the sudden need to rip your clothes off when Charli XCX sings about how she has a "Body of My Own" are all locked up in that thing rattling around in your head that you call a brain.
"Music is able to target the deep emotions systems (the limbic system), including the amygdala -- activation of this leads to emotional arousal," Salimpoor said. "Music can also effectively target our 'pleasure' centers, such as the nucleus accumbens, which are phylogenetically ancient circuits in the brain that have evolved to reinforce highly adaptive behaviors, including eating and sex. Pleasurable responses to music can release dopamine in this area, which feels really good."
So, basically, music makes you feel gooooood. And when you feel goooood, uhh ... *clears throat*.
"Our research has also found that music can target our physiological systems in the same way that 'being in the mood' does, for example, increase our heart rate, respiration and sweating. This may 'prime' the individual or facilitate a certain related mood," Salimpoor said.
In addition to hitting those G-spots in the noggin, music also works on the brain in another way that makes you feel ready for love. It reminds you of other times you felt goooood (OK, I'm done now).
"[Music also affects] the hippocampus, which is involved in memory and works together with the amygdala to retrieve memories and emotions associated with certain music that one has heard in past," Salimpoor said. "If there’s a special song from your past, and you have a certain memory associated with it, once you listen to it, you not only remember that memory but you also remember that emotion that you felt at the time when you listened to it way back in the day."
So, say you had your first kiss to the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" -- well, you might get a little more frisky if your BF/GF puts that tune on when you're mid-liplock. You know, if that initial kiss was worth the saliva.
Naturally, everyone has tunes that get them going -- whether they trigger those ancient parts of our brain or remind us of past paramours -- but, our team at MTV wondered, are there any songs that are universal aphrodisiacs?
"This is more rare, but some music is more universally capable of getting people into a certain mood," Salimpoor told us. "This is because somehow, through film or commercials or something, it’s been associated with romance or some kind of sexuality. Whether we realize it or not, all of these sounds that we hear have likely been associated with something along those lines in the past and this is what’s making us feel this way now."
Did someone say Beyoncé?
With all this knowledge locked and loaded, what tunes will you be queuing up come V-Day?