After observing fMRI scans, neuroscientist Daniel Levitin found that "familiar, favorite music stimulates the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter involved in pleasure and addiction, providing the same rush as eating chocolate or that winning does for a compulsive gambler," reports The Wall Street Journal.
While boys are susceptible to Bieber Fever, it's adolescent girls who pose the highest risk, something the music industry is happy to support. "In my era, in the '60s and '70s, Tiger Beat and other teen music magazines would airbrush out the stubble on the [male] teen idols," said Dr. Levitin.
So, is there a cure for Bieber Fever? Yes, and it's called growing up.
"I used to be, like, madly in love with Justin Bieber. Now I still like him, but I don't really love him, and I don't scream so much anymore," 11-year-old Carly told The Wall Street Journal. She says she now prefers One Direction.
This isn't the first time science has been used to attempt to explain the popularity of Justin Bieber. Earlier this month, University of Ottawa scientists Valerie Tweedle and Robert J. Smith? (the question mark is included in his name) revealed that Bieber Fever is spreading around the world faster than even measles. The only cure for this strand of Bieber fever is negative press about the singer.
With that in mind, how about this: Bieber's newest album, Believe, may have sold 50,000 less copies than was expected. Check back to HuffPost Entertainment on Wednesday for more on Bieber's album sales. Until then, steel yourself from catching Bieber fever in any way you can.
For more on the study, head over to WSJ.com.
Check out the reactions to Justin Bieber's latest album, Believe, below.