Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Verbal learning in the context of background music: no influence of vocals and instrumentals on verbal learning


Jäncke, Lutz; Brügger, Eliane; Brummer, Moritz; Scherrer, Stephanie; Alahmadi, Nsreen (2014). Verbal learning in the context of background music: no influence of vocals and instrumentals on verbal learning. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 10:10.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Whether listening to background music enhances verbal learning performance is still a matter of dispute. In this study we investigated the influence of vocal and instrumental background music on verbal learning.
METHODS: 226 subjects were randomly assigned to one of five groups (one control group and 4 experimental groups). All participants were exposed to a verbal learning task. One group served as control group while the 4 further groups served as experimental groups. The control group learned without background music while the 4 experimental groups were exposed to vocal or instrumental musical pieces during learning with different subjective intensity and valence. Thus, we employed 4 music listening conditions (vocal music with high intensity: VOC_HIGH, vocal music with low intensity: VOC_LOW, instrumental music with high intensity: INST_HIGH, instrumental music with low intensity: INST_LOW) and one control condition (CONT) during which the subjects learned the word lists. Since it turned out that the high and low intensity groups did not differ in terms of the rated intensity during the main experiment these groups were lumped together. Thus, we worked with 3 groups: one control group and two groups, which were exposed to background music (vocal and instrumental) during verbal learning. As dependent variable, the number of learned words was used. Here we measured immediate recall during five learning sessions (recall 1 - recall 5) and delayed recall for 15 minutes (recall 6) and 14 days (recall 7) after the last learning session.
RESULTS: Verbal learning improved during the first 5 recall sessions without any strong difference between the control and experimental groups. Also the delayed recalls were similar for the three groups. There was only a trend for attenuated verbal learning for the group passively listened to vocals. This learning attenuation diminished during the following learning sessions.
CONCLUSIONS: The exposure to vocal or instrumental background music during encoding did not influence verbal learning. We suggest that the participants are easily able to cope with this background stimulation by ignoring this information channel in order to focus on the verbal learning task.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Whether listening to background music enhances verbal learning performance is still a matter of dispute. In this study we investigated the influence of vocal and instrumental background music on verbal learning.
METHODS: 226 subjects were randomly assigned to one of five groups (one control group and 4 experimental groups). All participants were exposed to a verbal learning task. One group served as control group while the 4 further groups served as experimental groups. The control group learned without background music while the 4 experimental groups were exposed to vocal or instrumental musical pieces during learning with different subjective intensity and valence. Thus, we employed 4 music listening conditions (vocal music with high intensity: VOC_HIGH, vocal music with low intensity: VOC_LOW, instrumental music with high intensity: INST_HIGH, instrumental music with low intensity: INST_LOW) and one control condition (CONT) during which the subjects learned the word lists. Since it turned out that the high and low intensity groups did not differ in terms of the rated intensity during the main experiment these groups were lumped together. Thus, we worked with 3 groups: one control group and two groups, which were exposed to background music (vocal and instrumental) during verbal learning. As dependent variable, the number of learned words was used. Here we measured immediate recall during five learning sessions (recall 1 - recall 5) and delayed recall for 15 minutes (recall 6) and 14 days (recall 7) after the last learning session.
RESULTS: Verbal learning improved during the first 5 recall sessions without any strong difference between the control and experimental groups. Also the delayed recalls were similar for the three groups. There was only a trend for attenuated verbal learning for the group passively listened to vocals. This learning attenuation diminished during the following learning sessions.
CONCLUSIONS: The exposure to vocal or instrumental background music during encoding did not influence verbal learning. We suggest that the participants are easily able to cope with this background stimulation by ignoring this information channel in order to focus on the verbal learning task.

Statistics

Citations

8 citations in Web of Science®
7 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

37 downloads since deposited on 04 Jun 2014
7 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:March 2014
Deposited On:04 Jun 2014 11:44
Last Modified:03 Aug 2017 16:24
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1744-9081
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1744-9081-10-10
PubMed ID:24670048

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 301kB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations