An fNIRS Study on the Effect of Music

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An fNIRS Study on the Effect of Music Style on Cognitive Activities.

Music is a medium for people to convey and express information, and different music styles show distinct effects on the emotion and cognitive activities of human brain. The construal level denotes the abstract level of the representation of objects, and as a useful indicator has been widely used to measure people’s cognitive activities. Meanwhile, the neurophysiological responses in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) are associated with human cognitive activities. This work investigated the influence of music style on cognitive activities by measuring the construal level and PFC activation level. Two music styles (i.e., soothing and uplifting) were presented to listeners in the experiments. A behavioral experiment measured listeners’ subjective construal levels, while the PFC activation levels were measured by a functional near-infrared spectroscopy. Results showed that compared with uplifting music, soothing music increased the subjective construal level; and the PFC activation level was higher in uplifting music than that in soothing music. These findings suggested that different music styles had distinct effects on the construal level and PFC activation level, providing evidences that music styles could impact people’s cognitive activities.

PMID: 33018685 [PubMed – in process]

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2020 Jul;2020:3200-3203

Authors: Zheng M, Lin H, Chen F