A team of neuroscientist from IDIBELL performed an experiment about musical curiosity at Sónar+D

Curiosity was the object of study of the scientific experiment “Being a Curious Music-Mind” of IDIBELL with DJ Alicia Carrera, which took place at the CCCB and Sala Salamandra on October 29 and 30.

This initiative is part of the proposal that the city of L’Hospitalet will submit in connection with the Sónar D Festival.

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Music plays a key role in our lives: it has the inherent ability to evoke a wide range of emotions and feelings and it is used as a powerful mood regulator. But strong individual differences have been observed in the intrinsic motivation to look for new music and enjoy it. For example, while some people spend a lot of time discovering new music, other people get stuck listening to the same songs and artists for years. In addition, there are also solid differences in our ability to experience pleasure in listening to music (the so-called musical hedonism), as well as in the susceptibility to go through transcendental experiences or states of maximum emotion.


With the purpose of exploring and studying the differences in the vibrant world of musical curiosity, the Sónar+D festival, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and L’Hospitalet City Council came together to present a unique and inspiring proposal, full of talent and innovation thanks to the combination of culture, science and technology.


A team of neuroscientists from IDIBELL and the University of Barcelona led by Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells proposed a scientific experiment that aimed to characterize the differences in curiosity (and the search for new musical information) developed by listeners after being exposed to new musical pieces. Such differences were assessed considering each individual musical profile. In addition, neuroscientists tested if developing curiosity about a song can improve memory retention.

During the first stage of the experiment, participants were exposed to previously unreleased musical pieces and answered questions throughout the session by DJ Alícia Carreras, specially prepared for this experiment. In a second stage, the following day, each participant answered a questionnaire.

All the data extracted from the experiment and the questionnaires is being analyzed by the researchers to extract conclusions. They expect to publish the results during 2022.



The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).

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