When classical music relaxes the brain

  • Recherche,
  • Santé-Sciences-Technologie,
  • Santé-social,

le 4 mars 2020

Published in Int J Psychophysiol

Projet recherche collaborative dirigé par le Dr. Thomas Desmidt

When classical music relaxes the brain: An experimental study using Ultrasound Brain Tissue Pulsatility Imaging


Recent evidence suggests that biomechanical parameters of the brain, such as Brain Tissue Pulsatility (BTP), could be involved in emotional reactivity. However, no study has investigated the impact of an emotional task on BTP. We used the ultrasound method of Tissue Pulsatility Imaging (TPI) to assess changes in BTP to exciting and relaxing classical music, in a musical perception task, as a validated paradigm to assess emotional reactivity.

25 healthy volunteers were exposed via earphones to four 5-minute musical excerpts (two exciting and two relaxing musical excerpts) presented in a randomized order and intersected by 5 silence periods. Measures of BTP, Heart Rate (HR) and Skin Conductance (SC) were collected during the entire task.

The BTP significantly decreased with relaxing music compared to silence, and especially with the excerpt 'Entrance of the Shades' by Minkus. The HR and SC, but not Heart Rate Variability, were also decreased with relaxing music. We found no significant effect of exciting music.

We report, for the first time, that classical relaxing music decreases the amplitude of the brain pulsatile movements related to cerebral blood flow and mechanical properties of the brain parenchyma, which provides further evidence of the involvement of BTP in emotional reactivity. In addition, we validate the use of TPI as a non-invasive, portable and low cost tool for studies in psychophysiology, with the potential to be implemented as a biomarker in musicotherapy trials notably.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.


#Brain Tissue #Pulsatility; Classical #music; #Emotional reactivity; #Heart Rate Variability; #Skin conductance
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