Music is a stimulus which may give rise to a wide range of emotional and cognitive responses. Therefore, brain reactivity to music has become a focus of interest in cognitive neuroscience. It is possible that individual preference moderates the effectof music on the brain. In the present study we examined whether there are common effects of listening to music even if each subject in a sample chooses their own piece of music. We invited 18 subjects to bring along their favorite relaxing music, and their favourite stimulating music. Additionally, a condition with tactile stimulation on the foot and a baseline condition (rest) without stimulation were used. The tactile stimulation was chosen to provide a simple, non-auditory condition which would be identical for all subjects. The electroencephalogram was recorded for each of the 3 conditions and during rest. We found responses in the alpha range mainly on parietal and occipital sites that were significant compared to baseline in 13 subjects during relaxing music, 15 subjects during activating music, and 16 subjects during tactile stimulation. Most subjects showed an alpha desynchronization in a lower alpha range followed by a synchronization in an upper frequency range. However, some subjects showed an increase in this area, whereas others showed a decrease only. In addition, many subjects showed reactivity in the beta range. Beta activity was especially increased while listening to activating music and during tactile stimulation in most subjects. We found interindividual differences in the response patterns even though the stimuli provoked comparable subjective emotions (relaxation, activation), and even if the stimulus was the same for all subjects (somatosensory stimulation). We suggest that brain responsivity to music should be examined individually by considering individual characteristics.
Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Evoked Potentials, Auditory/physiology*
Find related publications in this database (Keywords)Single-subject analysis