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Exp Psychol. 2013;60(2):71-9. doi: 10.1027/1618-3169/a000166.

The joys of spring.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. leigh.riby@northumbria.ac.uk

Abstract

This study used Vivaldi's Four Seasons, an extraordinary example of program music, to explore the consequence of music exposure on cognitive event-related potentials (ERPs). Seventeen participants performed a three-stimulus visual odd-ball task while ERPs were recorded. Participants were required to differentiate between a rare target stimulus (to elicit a memory updating component; P3b), a rare novel stimulus (to elicit a novelty attention component; P3a), and a frequent nontarget stimulus. During task performance participants listened to the four concertos: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter in comparison to a silent control condition. Additionally, the three movements of each concerto have a fast, slow, fast structure that enabled examination of the impact of tempo. The data revealed that "Spring," particularly the well-recognized, vibrant, emotive, and uplifting first movement, had the ability to enhance mental alertness and brain measures of attention and memory.

PMID:
22851380
DOI:
10.1027/1618-3169/a000166
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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