Neural Correlates of Boredom in Music Perception

Basic Clin Neurosci. 2014 Oct;5(4):259-66.


Introduction: Music can elicit powerful emotional responses, the neural correlates of which have not been properly understood. An important aspect about the quality of any musical piece is its ability to elicit a sense of excitement in the listeners. In this study, we investigated the neural correlates of boredom evoked by music in human subjects.

Methods: We used EEG recording in nine subjects while they were listening to total number of 10 short-length (83 sec) musical pieces with various boredom indices. Subjects evaluated boringness of musical pieces while their EEG was recording.

Results: Using short time Fourier analysis, we found that beta 2 rhythm was (16-20 Hz) significantly lower whenever the subjects rated the music as boring in comparison to non-boring.

Discussion: The results demonstrate that the music modulates neural activity of various parts of the brain and can be measured using EEG.

Keywords: Boredom; Brain rhythms; EEG; Emotion; Music.