The Impact of Different Sounds on Stress Level in the Context of EEG, Cardiac Measures and Subjective Stress Level: A Pilot Study

Brain Sci. 2020 Oct 13;10(10):728. doi: 10.3390/brainsci10100728.


Everyone experiences stress at certain times in their lives. This feeling can motivate, however, if it persists for a prolonged period, it leads to negative changes in the human body. Stress is characterized, among other things, by increased blood pressure, increased pulse and decreased alpha-frequency brainwave activity. An overview of the literature indicates that music therapy can be an effective and inexpensive method of improving these factors. The objective of this study was to analyze the impact of various types of music on stress level in subjects. The conducted experiment involved nine females, aged 22. All participants were healthy and did not have any neurological or psychiatric disorders. The test included four types of audio stimuli: silence (control sample), rap, relaxing music and music triggering an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) phenomenon. The impact of individual sound types was assessed using data obtained from four sources: a fourteen-channel electroencephalograph, a blood pressure monitor, a pulsometer and participant's subjective stress perception. The conclusions from the conducted study indicate that rap music negatively affects the reduction of stress level compared to the control group (p < 0.05), whereas relaxing music and ASMR calms subjects much faster than silence (p < 0.05).

Keywords: ASMR; EEG; Emotiv EPOC + NeuroHeadset; brain-computer interfaces; measurement; neurofeedback; relaxation; sensors; stress; stress relief.