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Science rules. And it rules even harder when it explains questions in the music world.

There have been studies on everything from why people hate Nickelback to what makes for good workout music to where your brain changes when you decide you want to buy a song.

Here are 12 scientific studies that show how nerdy rock can be.

1. Mosh pits act like atoms

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There’s a little more science to an uncontrollable mosh pit than you might think. These researchers put together a module with different variables and studied mosh pit videos on YouTube, and discovered that there was a correlation between moshers and random gases. (You can even play with the module here.)

2. Heavy music makes you calmer

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This study showed that heavy music (i.e., emo, metal, hardcore screamo) enhanced positive emotions. “Results showed levels of hostility, irritability and stress decreased after music was introduced, and the most significant change reported was the level of inspiration [the subjects] felt,” the research said.

3. Men should avoid rock music when they play board games

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An oddly specific study, but potentially valuable on the next board game night? Maybe. In this study, men made more mistakes in the board game Operation when listening to AC/DC, when compared to their performance when listening to Mozart. Interestingly, music didn’t affect women’s board game skills. The one, possible exception? Gerard Way.

4. Plants don’t like rock music

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Plenty of researchers have studied how different kinds of music affect plant growth, and it’s been found that rock music had a negative effect on plants; the leaves were often smaller and the plants died faster when listening to rock.

5. Rock makes for good workout music (behind hip-hop)

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When it comes to working out, this study showed that tempo and rhythm response are the most important aspects of good exercise music. In a poll, 24 percent of college students use rock music for working out, second only behind hip-hop (27.7 percent of college students preferred this).

6. Why people hate Nickelback so much

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Everyone loves to hate Nickelback, and a Finnish researcher wanted to find why. Salli Anttonen read through reviews of the band’s music and said that the main issue people had was that it wasn’t authentic enough. “Overall, the descriptions imply that the songs are not genuine self-expression written willingly, but instead forced and made for commercial reasons,” the researcher wrote. Ouch.

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