Positive Emotional Experience: Induced by Vibroacoustic Stimulation Using a Body Monochord in Patients with Psychosomatic Disorders: Is Associated with an Increase in EEG-Theta and a Decrease in EEG-Alpha Power

Brain Topogr. 2016 Jul;29(4):524-38. doi: 10.1007/s10548-016-0480-8. Epub 2016 Mar 2.


Relaxation and meditation techniques are generally characterized by focusing attention, which is associated with an increase of frontal EEG Theta. Some studies on music perception suggest an activation of Frontal Midline Theta during emotionally positive attribution, others display a lateralization of electrocortical processes in the attribution of music induced emotion of different valence. The present study examined the effects of vibroacoustic stimulation using a Body Monochord and the conventional relaxation music from an audio CD on the spontaneous EEG of patients suffering from psychosomatic disorders (N = 60). Each treatment took about 20 min and was presented to the patients in random order. Subjective experience was recorded via self-rating scale. EEG power spectra of the Theta, Alpha-1 and Alpha-2 bands were analysed and compard between the two treatment conditions. There was no lateralization of electrocortical activity in terms of the emotional experience of the musical pieces. A reduction in Alpha-2 power occurred during both treatments. An emotionally positive attribution of the experience of the vibroacoustically induced relaxation state is characterized by a more pronounced release of control. In the context of focused attention this is interpreted as flow experience. The spontaneous EEG showed an increase in Theta power, particularly in the frontal medial and central medial area, and a greater reduction in Alpha-2 power. The intensity of positive emotional feelings during the CD music showed no significant effect on the increase in Theta power.

Keywords: Alpha; EEG power; Emotional experience; Lateralization; Monochord; Music; Theta; Vibroacoustic stimulation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alpha Rhythm*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music / psychology*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology*
  • Theta Rhythm*
  • Vibration
  • Young Adult