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Activating and relaxing music entrains the speed of beat synchronized walking

Marc Leman UGent, Dirk Moelants UGent, Matthias Varewyck UGent, Frederik Styns UGent, Leon van Noorden and Jean-Pierre Martens UGent (2013) PLOS ONE. 8(7).
abstract
Inspired by a theory of embodied music cognition, we investigate whether music can entrain the speed of beat synchronized walking. If human walking is in synchrony with the beat and all musical stimuli have the same duration and the same tempo, then differences in walking speed can only be the result of music-induced differences in stride length, thus reflecting the vigor or physical strength of the movement. Participants walked in an open field in synchrony with the beat of 52 different musical stimuli all having a tempo of 130 beats per minute and a meter of 4 beats. The walking speed was measured as the walked distance during a time interval of 30 seconds. The results reveal that some music is 'activating' in the sense that it increases the speed, and some music is 'relaxing' in the sense that it decreases the speed, compared to the spontaneous walked speed in response to metronome stimuli. Participants are consistent in their observation of qualitative differences between the relaxing and activating musical stimuli. Using regression analysis, it was possible to set up a predictive model using only four sonic features that explain 60% of the variance. The sonic features capture variation in loudness and pitch patterns at periods of three, four and six beats, suggesting that expressive patterns in music are responsible for the effect. The mechanism may be attributed to an attentional shift, a subliminal audio-motor entrainment mechanism, or an arousal effect, but further study is needed to figure this out. Overall, the study supports the hypothesis that recurrent patterns of fluctuation affecting the binary meter strength of the music may entrain the vigor of the movement. The study opens up new perspectives for understanding the relationship between entrainment and expressiveness, with the possibility to develop applications that can be used in domains such as sports and physical rehabilitation.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
TREADMILL EXERCISE, NEURONAL ENTRAINMENT, PERCEPTION, TEMPO, METER, MOTOR, RHYTHM, REHABILITATION, RESONANCE, PATTERNS, IPEMentrainment
journal title
PLOS ONE
editor
Joel Snyder
volume
8
issue
7
pages
10 pages
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000321765300018
JCR category
MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES
JCR impact factor
3.534 (2013)
JCR rank
8/55 (2013)
JCR quartile
1 (2013)
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0067932
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
4101356
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-4101356
date created
2013-07-16 11:58:58
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:46:50
@article{4101356,
  abstract     = {Inspired by a theory of embodied music cognition, we investigate whether music can entrain the speed of beat synchronized walking. If human walking is in synchrony with the beat and all musical stimuli have the same duration and the same tempo, then differences in walking speed can only be the result of music-induced differences in stride length, thus reflecting the vigor or physical strength of the movement. Participants walked in an open field in synchrony with the beat of 52 different musical stimuli all having a tempo of 130 beats per minute and a meter of 4 beats. The walking speed was measured as the walked distance during a time interval of 30 seconds. The results reveal that some music is 'activating' in the sense that it increases the speed, and some music is 'relaxing' in the sense that it decreases the speed, compared to the spontaneous walked speed in response to metronome stimuli. Participants are consistent in their observation of qualitative differences between the relaxing and activating musical stimuli. Using regression analysis, it was possible to set up a predictive model using only four sonic features that explain 60\% of the variance. The sonic features capture variation in loudness and pitch patterns at periods of three, four and six beats, suggesting that expressive patterns in music are responsible for the effect. The mechanism may be attributed to an attentional shift, a subliminal audio-motor entrainment mechanism, or an arousal effect, but further study is needed to figure this out. Overall, the study supports the hypothesis that recurrent patterns of fluctuation affecting the binary meter strength of the music may entrain the vigor of the movement. The study opens up new perspectives for understanding the relationship between entrainment and expressiveness, with the possibility to develop applications that can be used in domains such as sports and physical rehabilitation.},
  author       = {Leman, Marc and Moelants, Dirk and Varewyck, Matthias and Styns, Frederik and van Noorden, Leon and Martens, Jean-Pierre},
  editor       = {Snyder, Joel},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  journal      = {PLOS ONE},
  keyword      = {TREADMILL EXERCISE,NEURONAL ENTRAINMENT,PERCEPTION,TEMPO,METER,MOTOR,RHYTHM,REHABILITATION,RESONANCE,PATTERNS,IPEMentrainment},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {10},
  title        = {Activating and relaxing music entrains the speed of beat synchronized walking},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0067932},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2013},
}

Chicago
Leman, Marc, Dirk Moelants, Matthias Varewyck, Frederik Styns, Leon van Noorden, and Jean-Pierre Martens. 2013. “Activating and Relaxing Music Entrains the Speed of Beat Synchronized Walking.” Ed. Joel Snyder. Plos One 8 (7).
APA
Leman, M., Moelants, D., Varewyck, M., Styns, F., van Noorden, L., & Martens, J.-P. (2013). Activating and relaxing music entrains the speed of beat synchronized walking. (J. Snyder, Ed.)PLOS ONE, 8(7).
Vancouver
1.
Leman M, Moelants D, Varewyck M, Styns F, van Noorden L, Martens J-P. Activating and relaxing music entrains the speed of beat synchronized walking. Snyder J, editor. PLOS ONE. 2013;8(7).
MLA
Leman, Marc, Dirk Moelants, Matthias Varewyck, et al. “Activating and Relaxing Music Entrains the Speed of Beat Synchronized Walking.” Ed. Joel Snyder. PLOS ONE 8.7 (2013): n. pag. Print.