Saturday, March 29, 2014

Verbal learning in the context of background music: no influence of vocals and instrumentals on verbal learning.

BACKGROUND: Whether listening to background music enhances verbal learning performance is still a matter of dispute. In this study we investigated the influence of vocal and instrumental background music on verbal learning.
METHODS: 226 subjects were randomly assigned to one of five groups (one control group and 4 experimental groups). All participants were exposed to a verbal learning task. One group served as control group while the 4 further groups served as experimental groups. The control group learned without background music while the 4 experimental groups were exposed to vocal or instrumental musical pieces during learning with different subjective intensity and valence. Thus, we employed 4 music listening conditions (vocal music with high intensity: VOC_HIGH, vocal music with low intensity: VOC_LOW, instrumental music with high intensity: INST_HIGH, instrumental music with low intensity: INST_LOW) and one control condition (CONT) during which the subjects learned the word lists. Since it turned out that the high and low intensity groups did not differ in terms of the rated intensity during the main experiment these groups were lumped together. Thus, we worked with 3 groups: one control group and two groups, which were exposed to background music (vocal and instrumental) during verbal learning. As dependent variable, the number of learned words was used. Here we measured immediate recall during five learning sessions (recall 1 - recall 5) and delayed recall for 15 minutes (recall 6) and 14 days (recall 7) after the last learning session.
RESULTS: Verbal learning improved during the first 5 recall sessions without any strong difference between the control and experimental groups. Also the delayed recalls were similar for the three groups. There was only a trend for attenuated verbal learning for the group passively listened to vocal. This learning attenuation diminished during ghe following learning sessions.
CONCLUSIONS: The exposure to vocal or instrumental background music during encoding did not influence verbal learning. We suggest that the participants are easily able to cope with this background stimulation by ignoring this information channel in order to focus on the verbal learning task.

Behav Brain Funct. 2014 Mar 26;10(1):10

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cardiac autonomic regulation during exposure to auditory stimulation

Objectives: The effects of chronic music auditory stimulation on the cardiovascular system have been investigated in the literature. However, data regarding the acute effects of different styles of music on cardiac autonomic regulation are lacking. The literature has indicated that auditory stimulation with white noise above 50 dB induces cardiac responses. We aimed to evaluate the acute effects of classical baroque and heavy metal music of different intensities on cardiac autonomic regulation.

Study design: The study was performed in 16 healthy men aged 18-25 years. All procedures were performed in the same soundproof room. We analyzed heart rate variability (HRV) in time (standard deviation of normal-to-normal R-R intervals [SDNN], root-mean square of differences [RMSSD] and percentage of adjacent NN intervals with a difference of duration greater than 50 ms [pNN50]) and frequency (low frequency [LF], high frequency [HF] and LF/HF ratio) domains. HRV was recorded at rest for 10 minutes. Subsequently, the volunteers were exposed to one of the two musical styles (classical baroque or heavy metal music) for five minutes through an earphone, followed by a five-minute period of rest, and then they were exposed to the other style for another five minutes. The subjects were exposed to three equivalent sound levels (60-70dB, 70-80dB and 80-90dB). The sequence of songs was randomized for each individual.

Results: Auditory stimulation with heavy metal music did not influence HRV indices in the time and frequency domains in the three equivalent sound level ranges. The same was observed with classical baroque musical auditory stimulation with the three equivalent sound level ranges.

Conclusion: Musical auditory stimulation of different intensities did not influence cardiac autonomic regulation in men.

Turk Kardiyol Dern Ars. 2014 Mar;42(2):139-146

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mitochondrial DNA, restoring Beethovens music.

Great ancient composers have endured many obstacles and constraints which are very difficult to understand unless we perform the restoration process of ancient music. Species identification in leather used during manufacturing is the key step to start such a restoration process in order to produce a facsimile of a museum piano. Our study reveals the species identification in the leather covering the hammer head in a piano created by Erard in 1802. This is the last existing piano similar to the piano that Beethoven used with its leather preserved in its original state. The leather sample was not present in a homogeneous piece, yet combined with glue. Using a DNA extraction method that avoids PCR inhibitors; we discovered that sheep and cattle are the origin of the combination. To identify the species in the leather, we focused on the amounts of mitochondrial DNA in both leather and glue and results have led us to the conclusion that the leather used to cover the hammer head in this piano was made of cattle hide.

Mitochondrial DNA. 2014 Mar 11

Monday, March 17, 2014

Effects of music tempo on performance, psychological, and physiological variables during 20 km cycling in well-trained cyclists.

HYPOTHESIS: music tempo affects the performance, psychological response, and physiological response of well-trained athletes.

METHODS: 10 highly trained road cyclists performed four 20-km time trials. The time-trials were spaced one week apart. The music for each trial was randomized between fast-tempo (140 bpm), medium-tempo (120 bpm), slow-tempo (100 bpm), and no music.

RESULTS: There was no significant change in performance, physiological, or psychophysical variables. However, mood disturbance and tension increased significantly in the fast-tempo trial when compared with medium and no-music conditions.

CONCLUSIONmusic tempo did not affect the performance of highly trained athletes although fast music compared with no music increased both mood disturbance and tension.

Percept Mot Skills. 2013 Oct;117(2):484-97

Music and the elderly

Music is an effective therapy for multiple chronic diseases in the elderly. Bull Soc Sci Med Grand Duche Luxemb. 2013;(2):33-50

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A nationwide survey of nurses' attitudes toward music therapy and their need for education in its application.

BACKGROUND: Music therapy is increasingly used to help heal patients. However, there is a significant gap in the literature about nurses' attitudes toward and need for education in music therapy for nursing practice. This cross-sectional study was conducted to describe nurses' attitudes toward music therapy and determine their need for education in music therapy.

METHODS: Participants included 1,197 nurses who were recruited from hospitals in different regions of Taiwan.

RESULTS: Participants expressed positive attitudes toward music therapy. Most participants were willing to learn about music therapy. "Skill in using musical instruments" was the most frequently identified educational need. Further study of the discrepancy between the attitudes toward "performing music therapy" and "learning music therapy" is needed to clarify why nurses expected that they would receive no support for attending music therapy education.

CONCLUSION: Given participants' attitudes toward music therapy and their motivation for learning, nursing administrators and educators may consider developing policies to further the advancement of music therapy in educational programs and practice.

J Contin Educ Nurs. 2013 Dec;44(12):544-52

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The effects of Chinese five-element music therapy on nursing students with depressed mood.

The effects of Chinese five-element music therapy on nursing students with depressed mood.
Int J Nurs Pract. 2014 Mar 4;
Authors: Chen CJ, Sung HC, Lee MS, Chang CY

This study aimed to evaluate the effects of Chinese five-element music therapy on nursing students with depressed mood. We randomly assigned 71 nursing students from Taiwan with depressed mood to the music and control groups. The music group (n = 31) received Chinese five-element music therapy, whereas the participants in the control group (n = 40) maintained their routine lifestyles with no music therapy. All of the participants were assessed using the Depression Mood Self-Report Inventory for Adolescence, and their salivary cortisol levels were measured. The study found that there was a significant reduction in depression between the pre- and posttherapy test scores and in salivary cortisol levels over time in the music group. After receiving the music therapy, the nursing students' depression levels were significantly reduced (P = 0.038) compared with the control group (P < 0.001). These results indicate that the Chinese five-element music therapy has the potential to reduce the level of depression in nursing students with depressed mood.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Employing music exposure to reduce prejudice and discrimination.

Employing music exposure to reduce prejudice and discrimination.
Aggress Behav. 2014 Feb 25;
Authors: Greitemeyer T, Schwab A

Whereas previous research has mainly focused on negative effects of listening to music on intergroup attitudes and behavior, the present three experiments examined whether music exposure could reduce prejudice and discrimination. In fact, those participants who had listened to songs with pro-integration (relative to neutral) lyrics expressed less prejudice (Studies 1 and 3) and were less aggressive against (Study 2) and more helpful toward an outgroup member (Study 3). These effects were unaffected by song liking as well as mood and arousal properties of the songs employed, suggesting that it is indeed the pro-integration content of the lyrics that drives the effects. It is discussed to what extent music exposure could be employed to effectively reduce prejudice and discrimination in the real world. Aggr. Behav. 9999:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Perioperative music may reduce pain and fatigue in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Perioperative music may reduce pain and fatigue in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2013 Sep;57(8):1010-6
Authors: Graversen M, Sommer T

BACKGROUND: Acute post-operative pain is a predictor in the development of chronic pain after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Music has been shown to reduce surgical stress. In a randomized, clinical trial, we wanted to test the hypothesis that perioperative and post-operative soft music reduces pain, nausea, fatigue and surgical stress in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy as day surgery.
METHOD: The study was performed in otherwise healthy Danish patients eligible for day surgery. Ninety-three patients were included and randomized to either soft music or no music perioperatively and post-operatively. Using visual analog score pain, nausea and fatigue at baseline, 1 h, 3 h, 1 day and 7 days after surgery were recorded. C-reactive protein and cortisol were sampled before and after surgery.
RESULTS: Music did not lower pain 3 h after surgery, which was the main outcome. The music group had less pain day 7 (P = 0.014). Nausea was low in both groups and was not affected by music. The music group experienced less fatigue at day 1 (P = 0.042) and day 7 (P = 0.015). Cortisol levels decreased during surgery in the music group (428.5-348.0 nmol/l), while it increased in the non-music group (443.5-512.0 nmol/l); still, the difference between the two groups were only significant using general linear models as post-hoc analysis. Soft music did not affect C-reactive protein levels.
CONCLUSION: Soft music did not reduce pain 3 h after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Soft music may reduce later post-operative pain and fatigue by decreasing the surgical stress response.

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The effect of music on the human stress response.

The effect of music on the human stress response.
PLoS One. 2013;8(8):e70156
Authors: Thoma MV, La Marca R, Brönnimann R, Finkel L, Ehlert U, Nater UM

BACKGROUND: Music listening has been suggested to beneficially impact health via stress-reducing effects. However, the existing literature presents itself with a limited number of investigations and with discrepancies in reported findings that may result from methodological shortcomings (e.g. small sample size, no valid stressor). It was the aim of the current study to address this gap in knowledge and overcome previous shortcomings by thoroughly examining music effects across endocrine, autonomic, cognitive, and emotional domains of the human stress response.
METHODS: Sixty healthy female volunteers (mean age = 25 years) were exposed to a standardized psychosocial stress test after having been randomly assigned to one of three different conditions prior to the stress test: 1) relaxing music ('Miserere', Allegri) (RM), 2) sound of rippling water (SW), and 3) rest without acoustic stimulation (R). Salivary cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA), heart rate (HR), respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), subjective stress perception and anxiety were repeatedly assessed in all subjects. We hypothesized that listening to RM prior to the stress test, compared to SW or R would result in a decreased stress response across all measured parameters.
RESULTS: The three conditions significantly differed regarding cortisol response (p = 0.025) to the stressor, with highest concentrations in the RM and lowest in the SW condition. After the stressor, sAA (p=0.026) baseline values were reached considerably faster in the RM group than in the R group. HR and psychological measures did not significantly differ between groups.
CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that music listening impacted the psychobiological stress system. Listening to music prior to a standardized stressor predominantly affected the autonomic nervous system (in terms of a faster recovery), and to a lesser degree the endocrine and psychological stress response. These findings may help better understanding the beneficial effects of music on the human body.

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Influence of background music on work attention in clients with chronic schizophrenia.

Influence of background music on work attention in clients with chronic schizophrenia.
Work. 2014 Mar 4;
Authors: Shih YN, Chen CS, Chiang HY, Liu CH

BACKGROUND: Work attention in persons with chronic schizophrenia is an important issue in vocational rehabilitation. Some of the research literature indicates that background music may influence visual attention performance.

OBJECTIVES: Based on the theory of occupational therapy, environmental sounds, colors and decorations may affect individual performance, this study thus examined the influence of music on work attention in persons with schizophrenia.

PARTICIPANTS: Participants were recruited from a halfway house in Taipei. Fourty-nine (49) patients with chronic schizophrenia volunteered. They had been accepted into vocational rehabilitation and a work-seeking program. The sample included 20 females and 29 males. The participant ages ranged between 29 and 63 years old, and their average age was 47 years old.

METHODS: Using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study, the participants were assigned to one of three conditions: quiet environment as the control group (n=16), classical light music as background music (n=16), and popular music as background music (n=17).

RESULTS: For Group 1 (control group/quiet environment), there was no significant variance (sig=0.172). For Group 2 (Classical light music), the intervention revealed significant variance (sig=0.071*). For Group 3 (popular music), the intervention had significant variance (sig=0.048**).

CONCLUSIONS: The introduction of background music tended to increase attention test scores of persons with schizophrenia. Moreover, the increase in test attention scores was statistically significant when popular music was played in the background. This result suggested that background music may improve attention performance of persons with chronic schizophrenia. Future research is required with a larger sample size to support the study results.

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Combining transcranial direct current stimulation and tailor-made notched music training to decrease tinnitus-related distress - a pilot study.

Combining transcranial direct current stimulation and tailor-made notched music training to decrease tinnitus-related distress - a pilot study.
PLoS One. 2014;9(2):e89904
Authors: Teismann H, Wollbrink A, Okamoto H, Schlaug G, Rudack C, Pantev C

The central auditory system has a crucial role in tinnitus generation and maintenance. Curative treatments for tinnitus do not yet exist. However, recent attempts in the therapeutic application of both acoustic stimulation/training procedures and electric/magnetic brain stimulation techniques have yielded promising results. Here, for the first time we combined tailor-made notched music training (TMNMT) with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in an effort to modulate TMNMT efficacy in the treatment of 32 patients with tonal tinnitus and without severe hearing loss. TMNMT is characterized by regular listening to so-called notched music, which is generated by digitally removing the frequency band of one octave width centered at the individual tinnitus frequency. TMNMT was applied for 10 subsequent days (2.5 hours of daily treatment). During the initial 5 days of treatment and the initial 30 minutes of TMNMT sessions, tDCS (current strength: 2 mA; anodal (N = 10) vs. cathodal (N = 11) vs. sham (N = 11) groups) was applied simultaneously. The active electrode was placed on the head surface over left auditory cortex; the reference electrode was put over right supra-orbital cortex. To evaluate treatment outcome, tinnitus-related distress and perceived tinnitus loudness were assessed using standardized tinnitus questionnaires and a visual analogue scale. The results showed a significant treatment effect reflected in the Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaire that was largest after 5 days of treatment. This effect remained significant at the end of follow-up 31 days after treatment cessation. Crucially, tDCS did not significantly modulate treatment efficacy - it did not make a difference whether anodal, cathodal, or sham tDCS was applied. Possible explanations for the findings and functional modifications of the experimental design for future studies (e.g. the selection of control conditions) are discussed.

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Differences Between Musicians and Non-musicians in Neuro-Affective Processing of Sadness and Fear Expressed in Music.

Differences Between Musicians and Non-musicians in Neuro-Affective Processing of Sadness and Fear Expressed in Music.
Neurosci Lett. 2014 Feb 26;
Authors: Park M, Gutyrchik E, Bao Y, Zaytseva Y, Carl P, Welker L, Pöppel E, Reiser M, Blautzik J, Meindl T

Music is known to convey and evoke emotional states. Musical training has been argued to lead to changes in the neural architecture, and enhanced processing of emotions. It is not clear, whether musical training is also associated with changes in behavioral and neural responses to musically conveyed emotions. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging we investigated the responses to three musically conveyed emotions (happiness, sadness, fear) in a group of musicians and a group of non-musicians. We find that musicians rate sadness and fear as significantly more arousing than non-musicians, and that musical training is associated with specific neural activations: In response to sadness expressed in music, musicians show activation increases in the right prefrontal cortex, specifically in the superior and middle frontal gyri. In response to fear, musicians show activation increases in the right parietal cortex, specifically in the supramarginal and inferior parietal gyri. No specific activations were observed in response to happiness. Our results highlight the strong association between musical training and altered processing of "negative" emotions on both the behavioral and on the neural level.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Negative mood state enhances the susceptibility to unpleasant events: neural correlates from a music-primed emotion classification task.

Negative mood state enhances the susceptibility to unpleasant events: neural correlates from a music-primed emotion classification task.
PLoS One. 2014;9(2):e89844
Authors: Yuan J, Chen J, Yang J, Ju E, Norman GJ, Ding N

BACKGROUND: Various affective disorders are linked with enhanced processing of unpleasant stimuli. However, this link is likely a result of the dominant negative mood derived from the disorder, rather than a result of the disorder itself. Additionally, little is currently known about the influence of mood on the susceptibility to emotional events in healthy populations.
METHOD: Event-Related Potentials (ERP) were recorded for pleasant, neutral and unpleasant pictures while subjects performed an emotional/neutral picture classification task during positive, neutral, or negative mood induced by instrumental Chinese music.
RESULTS: Late Positive Potential (LPP) amplitudes were positively related to the affective arousal of pictures. The emotional responding to unpleasant pictures, indicated by the unpleasant-neutral differences in LPPs, was enhanced during negative compared to neutral and positive moods in the entire LPP time window (600-1000 ms). The magnitude of this enhancement was larger with increasing self-reported negative mood. In contrast, this responding was reduced during positive compared to neutral mood in the 800-1000 ms interval. Additionally, LPP reactions to pleasant stimuli were similar across positive, neutral and negative moods except those in the 800-900 ms interval.
IMPLICATIONS: Negative mood intensifies the humans' susceptibility to unpleasant events in healthy individuals. In contrast, music-induced happy mood is effective in reducing the susceptibility to these events. Practical implications of these findings were discussed.

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Monday, March 3, 2014

The music listening preferences and habits of youths in Singapore and its relation to leisure noise-induced hearing loss.

The music listening preferences and habits of youths in Singapore and its relation to leisure noise-induced hearing loss.
Singapore Med J. 2014 Feb;55(2):72-7
Authors: Lee JC, Lim MY, Kuan YW, Teo HW, Tan HG, Low WK

INTRODUCTION: Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a preventable condition, and much has been done to protect workers from it. However, thus far, little attention has been given to leisure NIHL. The purpose of this study is to determine the possible music listening preferences and habits among young people in Singapore that may put them at risk of developing leisure NIHL.
METHODS: In our study, the proportion of participants exposed to > 85 dBA for eight hours a day (time-weighted average) was calculated by taking into account the daily number of hours spent listening to music and by determining the average sound pressure level at which music was listened to.
RESULTS: A total of 1,928 students were recruited from Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore. Of which, 16.4% of participants listened to portable music players with a time-weighted average of > 85 dBA for 8 hours. On average, we found that male students were more likely to listen to music at louder volumes than female students (p < 0.001). We also found that the Malay students in our study listened to louder music than the Chinese students (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: We found that up to one in six young persons in Singapore is at risk of developing leisure NIHL from music delivered via earphones. As additional risks due to exposure to leisure noise from other sources was not taken into account, the extent of the problem of leisure NIHL may be even greater. There is a compelling need for an effective leisure noise prevention program among young people in Singapore.

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Music reduces pain and increases functional mobility in fibromyalgia.

Music reduces pain and increases functional mobility in fibromyalgia.
Front Psychol. 2014;5:90
Authors: Garza-Villarreal EA, Wilson AD, Vase L, Brattico E, Barrios FA, Jensen TS, Romero-Romo JI, Vuust P

The pain in Fibromyalgia (FM) is difficult to treat and functional mobility seems to be an important comorbidity in these patients that could evolve into a disability. In this study we wanted to investigate the analgesic effects of music in FM pain. Twenty-two FM patients were passively exposed to (1) self-chosen, relaxing, pleasant music, and to (2) a control auditory condition (pink noise). They rated pain and performed the "timed-up & go task (TUG)" to measure functional mobility after each auditory condition. Listening to relaxing, pleasant, self-chosen music reduced pain and increased functional mobility significantly in our FM patients. The music-induced analgesia was significantly correlated with the TUG scores; thereby suggesting that the reduction in pain unpleasantness increased functional mobility. Notably, this mobility improvement was obtained with music played prior to the motor task (not during), therefore the effect cannot be explained merely by motor entrainment to a fast rhythm. Cognitive and emotional mechanisms seem to be central to music-induced analgesia. Our findings encourage the use of music as a treatment adjuvant to reduce chronic pain in FM and increase functional mobility thereby reducing the risk of disability.

24575066 [PubMed]
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Viewers' perceptions of a YouTube music therapy session video.

Viewers' perceptions of a YouTube music therapy session video.
J Music Ther. 2013;50(3):176-97
Authors: Gregory D, Gooding LG

BACKGROUND: Recent research revealed diverse content and varying levels of quality in YouTube music therapy videos and prompted questions about viewers' discrimination abilities.
OBJECTIVE: This study compares ratings of a YouTube music therapy session video by viewers with different levels of music therapy expertise to determine video elements related to perceptions of representational quality.
METHOD: Eighty-one participants included 25 novices (freshmen and sophomores in an introductory music therapy course), 25 pre-interns (seniors and equivalency students who had completed all core Music Therapy courses), 26 professionals (MT-BC or MT-BC eligibility) with a mean of 1.75 years of experience, and an expert panel of 5 MT-BC professionals with a mean of 11 years of experience in special education. After viewing a music therapy special education video that in previous research met basic competency criteria and professional standards of the American Music Therapy Association, participants completed a 16-item questionnaire.
RESULTS: Novices' ratings were more positive (less discriminating) compared to experienced viewers' neutral or negative ratings. Statistical analysis (ANOVA) of novice, pre-intern, and professional ratings of all items revealed significant differences p, .05) for specific therapy content and for a global rating of representational quality. Experienced viewers' ratings were similar to the expert panel's ratings. Content analysis of viewers' reasons for their representational quality ratings corroborated ratings of therapy-specific content.
CONCLUSIONS: A video that combines and clearly depicts therapy objectives, client improvement, and the effectiveness of music within a therapeutic intervention best represent the music therapy profession in a public social platform like YouTube.

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