The Effect of Language Recognition in Music on Short-Term Memory Recall and Physiological Stress Response
Des Jardins, Jacob
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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Adolescent and young adult students frequently listen to music while studying. While there is extensive research on the effects of music on memory, there is little evidence regarding whether style of music or language recognition is associated with the physiological mechanisms driving memory recall tasks. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of language recognition in music on short-term memory performance and physiological variables. Participants in the study completed a word search while listening to a song in English, a song performed in native South African dialects, or no music at all. During the word search, heart rate, respiration rate, and skin conductance were recorded in order to assess the physiological response of the participant and their stress response. Immediately after, the participants was asked to recall as many words as they could from the word search as a way to measure short-term memory. Results showed that listening to music in a non-native language has no effect on short-term memory performance or the physiological stress response of the participants when compared to the other two conditions. This suggests that foreign music may not act as a physiological stressor and distraction during a cognitive task. Instead, foreign music may function more as white noise.
An article that appeared in JASS, issue 2019