Effects of Varying Degrees of Musical Complexity on Human Psychophysiological Measures
Keywords:Autonomic nervous system
Heart rate variability
Need for cognition
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Music Honors Theses; 2007
The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Honors Theses; 2007
Recent studies have shown that listening to music can effect changes in heart rate variability (HRV) and respiratory rate. One dimension of music that has not been studied psychophysiologically is complexity. The present study examined psychophysiological responses to variations in musical complexity. Measures included high- and low-frequency bands of HRV, stroke volume, cardiac output, and the systolic time intervals (pre-ejection period and left-ventricular ejection time). Participants listened to ten two-minute songs of high or low complexity while their physiological responses were recorded. The hypothesis that increased complexity would be associated with decreased parasympathetic nervous system activation was partially confirmed. This research has implications for the music industry, as well as on theories of the perception of stimulus complexity.
2nd Place, 2007 OSU Denman Undergraduate Research Forum
2007 Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Scholarship
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