New York: UCLA researchers claimed to have solved the mystery of why horror-flick music causes goosebumps.
According to the boffins, freak-out film scores, from the screeching violins to the two thundering notes have one thing in common: they ape the cries that wild animals in distress have used for millions of years.
Scientifically speaking, these cries, screeches and screams are called "non-linear vocalization".
Such disturbing noises are made by animals in times of emergencies, and all land vertebrates may be hard-wired to respond.
In the new study, published in the journal Biology Letters, scientists used computers to analyze the soundtracks to iconic scenes from 102 of the most popular films of Western cinema, determined through on-line polling.
Horror movie soundtracks were full of disturbing "non-linear" sounds, the study found.
Study`s lead researcher, Professor Daniel Blumstein, told The New York Daily News, until now, filmmakers probably didn`t understand the science behind what they were doing.
"I think they`ve been doing it instinctively," he said.