Journal of Medical Academics

Register      Login

VOLUME 1 , ISSUE 1 ( January-June, 2018 ) > List of Articles


Effect of Type of Music on Auditory Reaction Time in Young Adult Males

Rajshree R Gupta, Muskaan Nagpal

Keywords : Auditory reaction time, Hard rock music, High volume, Low volume, Reaction Time, Soft music

Citation Information : Gupta RR, Nagpal M. Effect of Type of Music on Auditory Reaction Time in Young Adult Males. Journal of Medical Academics 2018; 1 (1):5-9.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10070-0002

License: NA

Published Online: 01-04-2018

Copyright Statement:  NA


Introduction: Distractions such as the use of mobile phones or listening to music while driving can prove to be fatal. Reaction time (RT) is the time interval between the application of a stimulus and the appearance of appropriate voluntary response by an individual; it can be used to assess the individual's efficacy to respond to any stimulus in daily life. Choice of music and its influence on the central nervous system (CNS) and hence RT is linked to many neurophysiological reactions. Objectives: The present study was aimed to determine the effect of soft and hard rock music; played at low and high volumes on auditory reaction time in 52 young adult males. The auditory stimulation used was a buzzer simulating honking. Thus this study may help to understand if some types of music should be avoided or preferred while driving. Materials and methods: A total of 52 students from medical college-aged between 18 to 25 years; body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 to 25 kg/m2 participated in the study. Instrumental soft and hard rock music was delivered through two speakers. The low volume of 60 dB and a high volume of 80 dB were gauged by the sound level meter. Auditory reaction time (ART) was recorded with an auditory stimulus delivered from digital reaction time apparatus. After a practice session for an acquaintance, a baseline recording of auditory reaction time without music was recorded. This was followed by ART recording with soft music with low and high volumes and hard rock music with low and high volumes. The difference in mean ART of each music setting was then compared with mean baseline ART using a paired t-test. Result: The mean ART for sound stimulus for soft music at low volume showed improvement while it showed the slower response for high volume; though the difference in mean was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Faster ART was observed for hard rock music for both low and high volume which was not statistically significant. Conclusion: The varied outcomes suggest a differing preference of type of music and volume that might have affected the arousal and alertness of the participants and hence the reaction time. This is a significant deduction which brings out the importance to conduct similar studies incorporating the taste, preferences of music.

PDF Share
  1. Beh HC, Hirst R. Performance on driving-related tasks during music. Ergonomics 1999;42(8):1087-1098.
  2. Dibben N, Williamson VJ. An exploratory survey of in-vehicle music listening. Psychol Music 2007; 35(4):571-589.
  3. Brookhuis K, Waard DD, Mulder B. Measuring driving performance by car-following in traffic Ergonomics 1994;37(3):427-434.
  4. Lamble D, Kauranen T, Laakso M, Summala H. Cognitive load and detection thresholds in car following situations: safety implications for using mobile (cellular) telephones while driving. Accid Anal Prev 1999;31(6):617-623.
  5. Boso M, Politi P, Barale F, Enzo E. Neurophysiology and neurobiology of the musical experience. Funct Neurol 2006;21(4):187-191.
  6. Gandhi PH, Gokhale PA, Mehta HB, Shah CJ. A comparative study of simple auditory reaction time in blind (congenitally) and sighted subjects. Indian J Psychol Med. 2013;35(3):273- 277.
  7. Mesko M, Strojink V, Videmsek M. The effect of listening to techno music on reactions to visual stimuli. Acta Gymnica 2009; 39(1):67-73.
  8. Nikam LH, Gadkari JV. Effect of age, gender and body mass index on visual and auditory reaction times in Indian population. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2012;56(1):9499.
  9. Kumar S, Mufti M, Kisan R. Variation of Reaction Time in Different Phases of Menstrual Cycle. J Clin Diagn Res 2013; 7:1604-1605.
  10. Staum MJ.Effect of music amplitude on the relaxation response. Journal of music therapy 2000;XXXVII(1):22-39.
  11. Pereira CS, Teixeira J, Figueiredo P, Xavier J, Castro SL, Brattico E.Music and emotions in the brain: familiarity matters. PLoS ONE:e27241[INTERNET] 2011 Nov.
  12. Wang D-Y, Jimison Z, Richard D, Ching-Hua Chuan C-H. PROCEEDINGS of the Eighth International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training and Vehicle Design. Effect of listening to music as a function of driving complexity: A simulator study on the differing effects of music on different driving tasks 2015:253-259.
  13. Anderson E, Bierman C, Franko J, Zelko A. The effects of audio and visual distractions on reaction time: university of Wisconsian-Madison 2012 May. (cited 2017 jun 17); pp 16 Available from: 603%20Group%2014%20FINAL.pdf
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.