Neuroendocrine responses of healthy volunteers to 'techno-music': relationships with personality traits and emotional state

Int J Psychophysiol. 1998 Jan;28(1):99-111. doi: 10.1016/s0167-8760(97)00071-8.


A variety of studies reported psychological and physiological effects of music. Different types of music have been found to induce different neuroendocrine changes. The aim of the present experiment was to investigate the possible combination of emotional and endocrine changes in response to techno-music and to define personality variables as predictors of respective changes. Sixteen psychosomatically healthy subjects (18- to 19-year-olds, eight males and eight females) were exposed, in random order, to techno-music or to classical music (30 min each). Plasma norepinephrine (NE), epinephrine (EPI), growth hormone (GH), prolactin (PRL), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) cortisol (CORT), beta-endorphin (beta-EP) concentrations and changes of emotional state were measured in basal conditions and after the experimental trials with two different types of music. Techno-music was associated with a significant increase in heart rate, systolic blood pressure and significant changes in self-rated emotional states. A significant increase was observed in beta-EP, ACTH, NE, GH and CORT after listening to techno-music. Classical music induced an improvement in emotional state, but no significant changes in hormonal concentrations. No differences between male and female subjects' responses to music have been found. Plasma levels of PRL and EPI were unaffected by techno- and classical music. Changes in emotional state and NE, beta-EP and GH responses to techno-music correlated negatively with harm avoidance scores and positively with the novelty-seeking temperament score on the Cloninger scale. Listening to techno-music induces changes in neurotransmitters, peptides and hormonal reactions, related to mental state and emotional involvement: personality traits and temperament may influence the wide inter-individual variability in response to music.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Hormones / blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Music*
  • Neurosecretory Systems / physiology*
  • Personality / physiology*
  • Personality Tests


  • Hormones