WHEN listening to certain pop songs, teenagers' brains may offer clues about what will or won't be a megahit, US researchers said.
By studying the grey matter of adolescents using a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine, or MRI scan, researchers found that activity in a region called the ventral striatum was linked to the popularity of the music.
The small study, conducted in 2006 at Emory University in Georgia, involved 27 youths aged 12 to 17 who were asked to listen to a selection of little known pop songs from the social networking site MySpace.
The adolescents underwent MRI scans while listening and were also asked to rate the songs for likeability.
Three years later, lead researcher Gregory Berns was watching an episode of American Idol and recognised one of the songs that had featured in his study.