Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Psychophysiol. 2004 Jul;53(2):91-103.

Affective and physiological responses to environmental noises and music.

Author information

Institute for Hygiene and Applied Physiology, Swiss federal Institute of Technology, Clausiusstrasse 25, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland.


Research suggests that respiratory patterns may reflect general dimensions of emotional response. In this study, we investigated the relationships between judgments of affective valence (pleasantness) and arousal and respiratory responses to acoustic stimuli. Sixteen environmental noises and 16 musical fragments of 30 s duration were presented to 31 participants, while respiration, skin conductance level and heart rate were recorded. Judgments of valence and arousal were registered using the 9-point Self-Assessment Manikin. For noises, breathing accelerated and minute ventilation augmented with decreases in pleasantness for low-arousal stimuli and with increases in arousal for positive stimuli. For music, breathing accelerated and minute ventilation augmented with increases both in rated valence and arousal. Skin conductance level increased with arousal ratings for music but not for noises, whereas mean heart rate increased with rated arousal for noises but not for music. Although both noises and music are sound-vibrations, differences in the relationships between affective judgments and physiological responses were found suggesting differences in the processing of the two types of acoustic stimuli.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center