Effects of auditory stimulation with music of different intensities on heart period
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Various studies have indicated that music therapy with relaxant music improves cardiac function of patients treated with cardiotoxic medication and heavy-metal music acutely reduces heart rate variability (HRV). There is also evidence that white noise auditory stimulation above 50 dB causes cardiac autonomic responses. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the acute effects of musical auditory stimulation with different intensities on cardiac autonomic regulation. This study was performed on 24 healthy women between 18 and 25 years of age. We analyzed HRV in the time [standard deviation of normal-to-normal RR intervals (SDNN), percentage of adjacent RR intervals with a difference of duration >50 ms (pNN50), and root-mean square of differences between adjacent normal RR intervals in a time interval (RMSSD)] and frequency [low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), and LF/HF ratio] domains. HRV was recorded at rest for 10 minutes. Subsequently, the volunteers were exposed to baroque or heavy-metal music for 5 minutes through an earphone. The volunteers were exposed to three equivalent sound levels (60-70, 70-80, and 80-90 dB). After the first baroque or heavy-metal music, they remained at rest for 5 minutes and then they were exposed to the other music. The sequence of songs was randomized for each individual. Heavy-metal musical auditory stimulation at 80-90 dB reduced the SDNN index compared with control (44.39 ± 14.40 ms vs. 34.88 ± 8.69 ms), and stimulation at 60-70 dB decreased the LF (ms2) index compared with control (668.83 ± 648.74 ms2 vs. 392.5 ± 179.94 ms2). Baroque music at 60-70 dB reduced the LF (ms2) index (587.75 ± 318.44 ms2 vs. 376.21 ± 178.85 ms2). In conclusion, heavy-metal and baroque musical auditory stimulation at lower intensities acutely reduced global modulation of the heart and only heavy-metal music reduced HRV at higher intensities.