Music and Autonomic Nervous System

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Can listening to different types of music stimulate the autonomic nervous system to cause changes in heart rate?

For this practical task you need to identify the independent, dependent and controlled variables yourself. You also need to come up with your own hypothesis.

I will change (independent variable):

I will measure (dependent variable):

Increasing the Heart Rate

The effect of music towards  stimulating the autonomic nervous system

I will not change (controls):

Autonomic nervous system

Now you need to turn this information into a testable question and hypothesis:

When I change (independent variable)

When I change music that has different tempos from slow to high beats, does it stimulate the autonomic nervous system to cause changes in heart rate?

What will happen to (dependent variables)

What can be done to increase the heart rate?

My hypothesis is:

If music is changed with different tempos within the same sample, then it can stimulate the autonomic nervous system to cause changes in heart rate.


The procedure I will use to do my experiment is:

The experiment is controlled based on the choice of people who are chosen to be part of the experiment, controlling the kind of music that they listen to, with time for each music as well as intervals to achieve uniform results under controlled environment (Bora, Krishna & Phukan, 2017).

Carrying out this experiment requires 4 sample frames segregated as 2 male and 2 female, with music of two complete sets of music, one with high tempo with a slow music in order to get difference in heart beats.

Things I did differently from my method during my experiment are:

The intervals for rest also lasted for three minutes to enable heart to rest through normalizing blood pressure.

The period of experiment was for three minutes per song.

Repeating the process for all the songs within the same timeframe per song to identify and iron out any discrepancies, with margin of error being (+) (-) 0.5.


The results of my experiment are:

With the measuring the pulse from the wrist through placing the index finger below thumb, it becomes easy to identify the gaps and difference in heart rates (Florea and Cohn, 2014).

The experiment has determined that the tempos of music have direct effect on the autonomic nervous system to cause changes in heart rate. The high tempo music among all the participants showed increased heart rate whereas slow tempo music had effect on decreasing the heart rate (da Silva et al, 2014). Music thus has ability to affect the nervous system, making it possible to either increase or decrease the blood pressure, thus changing the heart rate.

Major trends in my results are:

The trend is in tandem with the hypothesis as it justifies the research objective. Based on the variables, both dependent and independent point towards increasing the heart rate.


Florea, V. G., & Cohn, J. N. (2014). The autonomic nervous system and heart failure. Circulation research, 114(11), 1815-1826.

Bora, B., Krishna, M., & Phukan, K. D. (2017). Short Communication The Effects of Tempo of Music on Heart Rate, Blood Pressure and Respiratory Rate–A Study in Gauhati Medical College. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol, 61(4), 445-448.

da Silva, A. G., Guida, H. L., Antônio, A. M. D. S., Marcomini, R. S., Fontes, A. M., de Abreu, L. C., ... & Valenti, V. E. (2014). An exploration of heart rate response to differing music rhyt

August 04, 2023


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