Effects of auditory priming on physiological parameters of stress following an acute, loud, auditory stimulus
Barth, Kelsey J.
Gerhartz, Nicolai S.
Guerrero, Kevin B.
Habbel, Katherine M.
Peterson, Timothy J.
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
MetadataShow full item record
Elevated stress levels and constant exposure to music are commonplace to present day college students. Although the relationship of relaxing music and chronic stress have been well studied, the specific effects of auditory priming with music of different tempos followed by a sudden onset of a stressful stimuli have not been closely analyzed. This research sought to better understand the complex influence music can have on a response to a stressful stimulus-- specifically the role of tempo on physiological stress. The study participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups and presented with fast- or slow-tempo musical priming or silence followed by an acute, loud auditory stimulus. Electrocardiogram, galvanic skin response, and muscle tension data were recorded pre- and post-stimulus. Analysis of this data revealed the variable with the most reliable and significant results were from the Galvanic Skin Response. There was a significant increase in max skin response between the priming and post stimulus time periods (p=0.0001 for fast-tempo; p=0.0003 for slow-tempo; p=0.01 for no music). Muscle tension did not yield significant results. Some heart rate changes were significant, but not all. Specifically, the change in heart rate from baseline to the priming phase significantly increased in the slow tempo group (p= 0.02) and there was a significant decrease in heart rate between the priming and post stimulus phase in the fast tempo group (p=0.04). Different reactions to stimuli based on type and/or presence of auditory priming did not show any significant results. From this, we concluded GSR accurately depicts physiological changes in humans when presented with stressful stimuli, but muscle tension and heart rate need to be further studied. Auditory priming should be further studied in a more controlled setting and with a larger and more varied group of participants.