Judith Becker, Ph.D.

Thomas Budzynski, Ph.D.

Jon Frederick, Ph.D.

Robert Gatchel, Ph.D.

Emil Jovanov, Ph.D.

Clete A. Kushida, M.D., Ph.D.

Edward W. Large, Ph.D.

Scott Makeig, Ph.D.

Melinda Maxfield, Ph.D.

Harold Russell, Ph.D.

David Spiegel, M.D.

M. Barry Sterman, Ph.D.

Patrick Suppes, Ph.D.

Concetta Tomaino, D.A.MT-BC

Udo Will, Ph.D.

MusicŠntica

 

 

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Presentation Abstract - Udo Will, Ph.D.

 

Brainwave entrainment and short term (2-3 min) auditory stimulation at low (1-8Hz) repetition rate.

 

Do bodily processes, for example brain waves, breathing and heartbeat, indeed get entrained to musical stimuli, as frequently claimed? Unfortunately there are more claims then actual demonstrations of entrainment. One of the earliest studies indicating that auditory stimuli affect brain waves was Neherís study from 1961, in which he reports that EEG responses can be driven by periodic (3-8 Hz) acoustic stimuli. His findings lead him to subsequently develop a physiological explanation of trance in ceremonies involving drums (Neher,1962). Though his theory met with severe criticism from ethnomusicology (Rouget,1980), there has, to my knowledge, never been a replication of his study. For a theory of musical entrainment Neherís study is of considerable relevance because, if confirmed, it could offer one important component for the mechanism underlying musical entrainment. We have therefore replicated Neherís EEG study with slight modification of stimuli and presentation time. We used two types of stimuli, clicks and drum sounds, and instead of 40 s stimulation time we presented the stimuli sequences for up to 3 min. In my presentation I report on the analysis of this restudy and discuss the results in terms of various aspects of brainwave entrainment.

 

Neher, A. (1961) Auditory driving observed with scalp electrodes in normal subjects. Electroenceph. Clin. Neurophysiol. 13, 449-451.

 

Neher, A (1962) A physiological explanation of unusual behavior in ceremonies involving drums. Human Biology, IV, 151-160.

 

Rouget, G. (1990) La musique et la transe. Paris, Gallimard

 

 

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