The Atlantic

Inside the Heads of People Who Don't Like Music

For those who experience “musical anhedonia,” listening to a song is halfway between boring and distracting—and their brain activity reflects that.
Source: Jonathan Alcorn / Reuters

Allison Sheridan couldn’t care less about music. Songs of love and heartbreak don’t bring her to tears, complex classical compositions don’t amaze her, peppy beats don’t make her want to dance. For Sheridan, a retired engineer, now a podcaster, who owns 12 vinyl records and hasn’t programed the radio stations in her car, “music sits in an odd spot halfway between boring and distracting.”

Despite coming from a tremendously musical family, Sheridan is part of the roughly 3 to 5 percent of the world’s population that has an apathy toward music. It’s

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