Improved Learning Performance
With regard to the article by Trappe and Voit on the cardiovascular effects of different musical genres, I would like to point out that the effect of different musical genres in cardiovascular parameters was confirmed previously. What is interesting, however, is the additionally observed drop in serum cortisol concentrations. This is a parallel trend to that observed in studies that have investigated the effect of different musical genres on psychological parameters (learning performance, attention, reading performance, memory performance) (1). In this particular study, music in general improves learning performance in terms of meaningless syllables, as these keep distracting stimuli in the background. This study showed—as did the one reported by Trappe and Voit—that rock music has the smallest positive effect (1, 2). A positive correlation between volume and improved learning performance of meaningless syllables was also seen. Our own study (3) using music by Mozart and Deep Purple yielded the same result. In view of the fact that the central importance of the stress hormone cortisol on psychological and biological parameters is being described to an increasingly more precise degree, and on the basis of the assumption that music has a crucial effect on this very cortisol level, the effect of music as “add-on” therapy should also be investigated for other parameters that are affected by cortisol.
CA DP Dr. phil. Dr. med. Helmut Niederhofer
|1.||Carlson JA, Hergenhahn BB: Effects of rock—roll and classical music on the learning of nonsense syllables. Psychological Reports 1967; 20: 2021–2 CrossRef MEDLINE|
|2.||Trappe H-J, Voit G: The cardiovascular effect of musical genres—a randomized controlled study on the effect of compositions by W. A. Mozart, J. Strauss, and ABBA. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2016; 113: 347–52 VOLLTEXT|
|3.||Niederhofer H: Der Einfluß unterschiedlicher Musiktypen auf die Lernleistungen von Kindern. Heilpädagogik 2002; 45: 1–6.|