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Percept Mot Skills. 1997 Aug;85(1):287-96.

Effects of excitative and sedative music on subjective and physiological relaxation.

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Department of Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University, Japan.


Previous investigations using heart rate as a measure have not clarified the excitative-sedative effects of music. One of the sources of this failure was considered to be use of the index of heart rate. The present purpose was to examine the excitative-sedative effect of music on indices of the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous activities through spectral analysis of heart rate. The presented stimuli were three excitative musical pieces and three sedative ones. Subjective feelings about music were measured by an adjective checklist concerning musical activity. Heart-rate variabilities divided into two components of Low Frequency, mainly affected by the sympathetic nervous system and of High Frequency, mainly affected by the parasympathetic nervous system. Six types of heart-rate indices were employed: (1) mean increments from posttrial base, (2) coefficient of variances of heart rate, (3) mean powers of Low Frequency, (4) coefficient of component variances of Low Frequency, (5) mean powers of High Frequency, and (6) coefficient of component variances of High Frequency. From the factor analysis based on responses to an adjective checklist, there was a single major activity factor. Activity scores showed some were high during excitative pieces and others low during sedative ones. For heart rate, excitative-sedative effects of music were observed only in indices related to High Frequency. This result suggests that musical effect was observed in measures of the parasympathetic nervous system but not in the sympathetic nervous system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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