Navigation Links
Raucous Music May Tap Into Your Inner Animal
Date:6/13/2012

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Harsh, jarring music -- a mainstay of rock-and-roll, movie soundtracks and many garage bands -- appears to stimulate your mind by simulating the sounds of animals in distress, a new study claims.

The research doesn't directly prove that the distortion in a song such as Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner" makes you subconsciously think about the screams of other mammals. However, study author Daniel Blumstein said "it gives us the biological basis behind why certain forms of music create emotions. What's so nice about this is that they're inspired by biological forces, by 3.5 billion years of life."

Blumstein, chair of the ecology and evolutionary biology department at the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues are studying how the distress sounds of mammals and birds command attention. It appears that they "overblow" their vocal systems, Blumstein said, creating distortion similar to what you hear if you turn your stereo volume up too high.

The researchers sought to better understand how people react to distortions in music. With the help of Greg Bryant, an assistant professor of communication studies at UCLA, musician and recording engineer, they created 10-second snippets of music. Some were bland -- "Muzak-y," Blumstein said -- and others transformed after five seconds into harsh, rough music.

The idea was to create discordant sounds evocative of those made by animals in distress. "We're not increasing the tempo, we're not increasing the amplitude, we're not changing keys," Blumstein said. "We're adding noise, something that would be naturally produced. We're creating biologically inspired music."

Forty-two UCLA undergrads who heard the snippets that included the rougher music found them more stimulating than the other music.

However, a second group of students was less aroused if they watched innocuous videos while they listened to the musical selections. "Music alone seems to be able to manipulate arousal ... but in our experiments, the addition of video suppressed these arousing responses," Blumstein said. In other words, context influences the listener's feelings.

Daniel Levitin, a professor of psychology and behavioral neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal, said the findings fit in with theories that distorted sounds grab attention because they mimic sounds of distress.

Also, these sounds can be loud, and "our brain interprets loud sounds that are very near us as potentially dangerous, triggering the well-known 'startle' response we have if, say, a balloon pops nearby," he said. "This is an ancient reflex that we share with all mammals, occurring deep in the brain stem," added Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain on Music.

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology at University College London, said the study is valid and serves as "a very preliminary exploration of the potential evolutionary basis of musical preferences. The main message is that distorted music may tap into evolved biological processes or systems in our brain which have the capacity to perceive danger even before we are conscious of it."

But it doesn't have applications in everyday life, he said.

Just what is the appeal of jarring music? "My experience and studies suggest that liking distorted music is a function of being more creative and open to novelty," he said.

One of the next steps in research, study author Blumstein said, is to figure out how emotionally charged video -- like that in a horror movie -- affects people's response to the sounds of distortion.

The study was published online June 12 in the journal Biology Letters.

More information

Music therapy can help people in distress. For more, see the American Music Therapy Association.

SOURCES: Daniel T. Blumstein, Ph.D., professor and chair, department of ecology and evolutionary biology, University of California, Los Angeles; Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Ph.D., professor, business psychology, University College London, England; Daniel J. Levitin, Ph.D., professor, psychology and behavioral neuroscience, McGill University, Montreal; June 12, 2012, Biology Letters, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. NJIT designer creates an ergonomic chair for musicians
2. Teens Love of Loud Music Tied to Drinking, Drug Abuse
3. Sexual objectification of female artists in music videos exists regardless of race, MU study finds
4. Nordic Walking a Winner for Heart Failure Patients, Study Says
5. Does dinner make a strong family, or does a strong family make dinner?
6. New Blood Thinner May Lower Chances of Clots in High-Risk Heart Patients: FDA
7. Procedure gives patients with A-fib who cant take blood thinners alternative to reduce stroke
8. Stopping Blood Thinners Raises Stroke Risk for Patients With Irregular Heartbeat
9. Which ads are winners? Your brain knows better than you do
10. Animals More Interesting to Kids Than Toys, Study Shows
11. FDA Seeks to Limit Antibiotics in Animal Feed
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Raucous Music May Tap Into Your Inner Animal
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their media ... Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice ... X users can now reveal the media of their split screens with growing ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive analytics to ... technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers with ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Best Buy ... in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be a purely ... make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of creating an ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A ... 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the ... history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Cary, North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... the release of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of ... harvested for centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... LEXINGTON, Mass. , June 24, 2016   ... specialty pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today ... when Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set ... 2016. "This is an important milestone for ... "It will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; ... for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a ... septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is the first ... integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... infection and PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: