VSL:SCIENCE // How music fights pain

Dentists have always suspected that music is a potent painkiller: That’s why they pipe it into their offices. Now Scottish scientists have come up with concrete evidence in support of music’s analgesic effect.

Researchers at Glasgow’s Caledonian University had 80 people put their right hands into frigid water. Some listened to their iPods. Others looked at pretty paintings, and the rest stared at a blank wall. The subjects who’d been listening to music kept their hands in the water for 30 percent longer, and their ratings of pain intensity were almost 50 percent lower. Now, if only there were a scientific argument against Kenny G.

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