2018 Volume 15 Issue 2 Pages 91-101
This study used topographic near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to characterize frontal lobe activation while individuals actively or passively listened to exciting or calm music. Participants were 22 healthy female volunteers (mean age, 21± 4.1 years). Initial analysis showed that oxy-Hb significantly decreased in many channels when subjects listened to calm music. In contrast, oxy-Hb significantly increased when subjects listened to lively music. In addition, after listening to calm music, cortisol, α-amylase, and immunoglobulin A significantly decreased. A subsequent analysis showed that oxy-Hb signif-icantly increased when subjects listened to music while clapping to its rhythm compared with when subjects listened to music only. Our study suggests that calm music reduces levels of human stress and enables effective relaxation. In addition, our data suggests that clapping to the rhythm of music increases brain activation. Therefore, active music therapy may be more effective than passive music therapy with respect to brain activation. Such active therapy (i.e., playing rather than listening to music) may improve functional and psychological status, and cooperative abilities.