Scientists unlock key to the sound of blood pressure reduction in a traffic jam

April 18, 2014, Liverpool John Moores University
Credit: Wikipedia.

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) has released key findings into the effects of music on the cardiovascular system, and most importantly, what we need to be listening to in order to reduce our blood pressure in a traffic jam.

The results, published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, exposed groups of people to a traffic jam in a driving simulator and tested out different types of designed to induce different states. The types of mood music covered four distinct types: high activation/positive (energising, feel good), high activation/negative (energising, aggressive), low activation/positive (relaxing, pleasant) and low activation/negative (relaxing sad). There was also a who did not hear any music. The type of music was personalised to each individual.

The study found that that low activation music (either positive or negative) reduced during the traffic jam compared to no music or high activation/negative music. Examples of relaxing/pleasant music included classic Motown hits such as Just My Imagination by the Temptations whereas Brahm's choral music (Opus 62) characterised music that provoked a mood of relaxation and sadness.

Project lead Professor Stephen Fairclough, based at the LJMU School of Natural Sciences & Psychology explains:

"Driving represents a common activity in everyday life where the experience and expression of emotions like anger have implications for health and safety. But this can be reduced by environmental factors, including music which is one of the most potent techniques for mood regulation. The goal of this project was to develop the next generation of adaptive music players where the playlist can respond to negative mood states that have implications for health in the long-term."

Explore further: 'Beautiful but sad' music can help people feel better

Related Stories

'Beautiful but sad' music can help people feel better

February 19, 2014
New research from psychologists at the universities of Kent and Limerick has found that music that is felt to be 'beautiful but sad' can help people feel better when they're feeling blue.

Why do we enjoy listening to sad music?

July 11, 2013
Sad music might actually evoke positive emotions reveals a new study by Japanese researchers published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology. The findings help to explain why people enjoy listening to sad music, ...

Music through sport – jymmin improves your mood

January 9, 2014
Working out and making music at the same time – scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig retrofitted conventional fitness machines to produce music during a workout. Not only ...

Neil Young unveils high-definition music player, store

March 10, 2014
Singer-songwriter Neil Young announced plans Monday to launch a high-definition portable music player and download service, saying it will improve the experience of listening to digital music on the go.

Recommended for you

Intensive behavior therapy no better than conventional support in treating teenagers with antisocial behavior

January 19, 2018
Research led by UCL has found that intensive and costly multisystemic therapy is no better than conventional therapy in treating teenagers with moderate to severe antisocial behaviour.

Babies' babbling betters brains, language

January 18, 2018
Babies are adept at getting what they need - including an education. New research shows that babies organize mothers' verbal responses, which promotes more effective language instruction, and infant babbling is the key.

College branding makes beer more salient to underage students

January 18, 2018
In recent years, major beer companies have tried to capitalize on the salience of students' university affiliations, unveiling marketing campaigns and products—such as "fan cans," store displays, and billboard ads—that ...

Inherited IQ can increase in early childhood

January 18, 2018
When it comes to intelligence, environment and education matter – more than we think.

Modulating molecules: Study shows oxytocin helps the brain to modulate social signals

January 17, 2018
Between sights, sounds, smells and other senses, the brain is flooded with stimuli on a moment-to-moment basis. How can it sort through the flood of information to decide what is important and what can be relegated to the ...

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.