Effects of Music Tempo on the Stress Response to Short Term Memory and Problem Solving Tests
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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The aim of this study was to determine the effect of music and music tempo on stress responses in the body while performing both simple memory tests and tests that require higher-level cognitive function. Twenty-four participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group completed three short-term memory tests, each time under the influence of a different music treatment: light background noise (no music), slow tempo music (70 bpm), and fast tempo music (140 bpm). The other experimental group followed the same procedure but with three problem solving tests involving math and logical reasoning. Heart rate, galvanic skin response, and both alpha and beta brain waves by EEG were measured during the duration of the testing to quantify physiological signs of stress and mental exertion. A statistical analysis of the data showed no significant differences in measured stress response for the memory group. However, alpha wave amplitude significantly differed between the no music and slow music measurements, and beta wave amplitude significantly differed between the slow music and fast music measurements for the problem solving groups, indicating a change in brain activity, concentration, and anxiety. This outcome was unexpected, and more research would be needed to get a clearer picture of how music tempo affects cognition and the body.
electrodermal activity (EDA)
An article that appeared in JASS, issue 2018