These Headphones Are Designed to Give You A Dopamine High
A Florida-based startup called Nervana is making waves in the audio industry since debuting their product at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas recently. The company has designed headphones that supposedly get you high.
Using small electrical signals timed with the music, Nervana headphones claim to stimulate the Vagus nerve on each side of the body. This nerve runs to all major organs from the brainstem to the abdomen and directly signals cells that release dopamine in the brain. Essentially, the headphones are meant to trigger the reward and pleasure centers similar to what happens during activities like having sex or eating rich foods.
While some research has shown that Vagus nerve stimulation could be used to treat depression, the company - which is actually made up of medical professionals - has yet to provide evidence that the headphones increase dopamine levels.
While testimonials reveal the effects are subtle, most reported a feeling of calmness and more than one noted that it decreased the severity of their hangover (apparently techies party hard during the Consumers Electronics Show). But with plenty of positive reviews and a price tag of only $299, the headphones seem worth the try for audiophiles intrigued by the idea.