Limits...
The neurochemistry and social flow of singing: bonding and oxytocin.

Keeler JR, Roth EA, Neuser BL, Spitsbergen JM, Waters DJ, Vianney JM - Front Hum Neurosci (2015)

Bottom Line: The results indicate that group singing reduces stress and arousal, as measured by ACTH, and induces social flow in participants.The effects of pre-composed and improvised group singing on oxytocin are less clear.Higher levels of plasma oxytocin in the improvised condition may perhaps be attributed to the social effects of improvising musically with others.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Brain Research and Interdisciplinary Neurosciences Laboratory, School of Music, Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI, USA.

ABSTRACT
Music is used in healthcare to promote physical and psychological well-being. As clinical applications of music continue to expand, there is a growing need to understand the biological mechanisms by which music influences health. Here we explore the neurochemistry and social flow of group singing. Four participants from a vocal jazz ensemble were conveniently sampled to sing together in two separate performances: pre-composed and improvised. Concentrations of plasma oxytocin and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) were measured before and after each singing condition to assess levels of social affiliation, engagement and arousal. A validated assessment of flow state was administered after each singing condition to assess participants' absorption in the task. The feasibility of the research methods were assessed and initial neurochemical data was generated on group singing. Mean scores of the flow state scale indicated that participants experienced flow in both the pre-composed (M = 37.06) and improvised singing conditions (M = 34.25), with no significant difference between conditions. ACTH concentrations decreased in both conditions, significantly so in the pre-composed singing condition, which may have contributed to the social flow experience. Mean plasma oxytocin levels increased only in response to improvised singing, with no significant difference between improvised and pre-composed singing conditions observed. The results indicate that group singing reduces stress and arousal, as measured by ACTH, and induces social flow in participants. The effects of pre-composed and improvised group singing on oxytocin are less clear. Higher levels of plasma oxytocin in the improvised condition may perhaps be attributed to the social effects of improvising musically with others. Further research with a larger sample size is warranted.

No MeSH data available.


Study design.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4585277&req=5

Figure 1: Study design.

Mentions: A mixed design using repeated measures was utilized to explore the effects of pre-composed and improvised group singing on social flow and neurochemical measures of connectedness and arousal (see Figure 1). Participants formed one group and performed the same song together in two conditions. The first condition was a performance of the music as it was written without improvisation or further embellishment of the melody, referred to from this point forward as “standard performance” (SP). The second condition was a performance of the music that followed the syntactical harmonic structure (chord changes) of the composition, with improvised melodies, referred to from this point forward as “improvised performance” (IP). In each condition, pre and post-tests measured plasma oxytocin and ACTH, and a post-test survey assessed the level of social flow experienced by participants. Based on the brief duration of each performance and the short half-life of plasma ACTH and oxytocin, a 30 min washout period was utilized between conditions to allow neuropeptide levels to return to baseline. The reported half-life of plasma ACTH is approximately 10 min (Yalow et al., 1964). Similarly, the half-life of plasma oxytocin is estimated at 5–10 min (Amico et al., 1987). In healthy subjects, oxytocin levels peaked after only 5–8 min of music listening, with plasma levels returning toward baseline after 7–10 min (Dai et al., 2012). In a different study examining music perception, researchers utilized a 10 min washout period prior to obtaining baseline measures of plasma ACTH (Evers and Suhr, 2000). Therefore, it was estimated that a period of 30 min between conditions would allow neuropeptide levels to return to baseline. This study was reviewed and approved by the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board at Western Michigan University. Informed written consent was obtained from all participants involved in the study.


The neurochemistry and social flow of singing: bonding and oxytocin.

Keeler JR, Roth EA, Neuser BL, Spitsbergen JM, Waters DJ, Vianney JM - Front Hum Neurosci (2015)

Study design.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4585277&req=5

Figure 1: Study design.
Mentions: A mixed design using repeated measures was utilized to explore the effects of pre-composed and improvised group singing on social flow and neurochemical measures of connectedness and arousal (see Figure 1). Participants formed one group and performed the same song together in two conditions. The first condition was a performance of the music as it was written without improvisation or further embellishment of the melody, referred to from this point forward as “standard performance” (SP). The second condition was a performance of the music that followed the syntactical harmonic structure (chord changes) of the composition, with improvised melodies, referred to from this point forward as “improvised performance” (IP). In each condition, pre and post-tests measured plasma oxytocin and ACTH, and a post-test survey assessed the level of social flow experienced by participants. Based on the brief duration of each performance and the short half-life of plasma ACTH and oxytocin, a 30 min washout period was utilized between conditions to allow neuropeptide levels to return to baseline. The reported half-life of plasma ACTH is approximately 10 min (Yalow et al., 1964). Similarly, the half-life of plasma oxytocin is estimated at 5–10 min (Amico et al., 1987). In healthy subjects, oxytocin levels peaked after only 5–8 min of music listening, with plasma levels returning toward baseline after 7–10 min (Dai et al., 2012). In a different study examining music perception, researchers utilized a 10 min washout period prior to obtaining baseline measures of plasma ACTH (Evers and Suhr, 2000). Therefore, it was estimated that a period of 30 min between conditions would allow neuropeptide levels to return to baseline. This study was reviewed and approved by the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board at Western Michigan University. Informed written consent was obtained from all participants involved in the study.

Bottom Line: The results indicate that group singing reduces stress and arousal, as measured by ACTH, and induces social flow in participants.The effects of pre-composed and improvised group singing on oxytocin are less clear.Higher levels of plasma oxytocin in the improvised condition may perhaps be attributed to the social effects of improvising musically with others.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Brain Research and Interdisciplinary Neurosciences Laboratory, School of Music, Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI, USA.

ABSTRACT
Music is used in healthcare to promote physical and psychological well-being. As clinical applications of music continue to expand, there is a growing need to understand the biological mechanisms by which music influences health. Here we explore the neurochemistry and social flow of group singing. Four participants from a vocal jazz ensemble were conveniently sampled to sing together in two separate performances: pre-composed and improvised. Concentrations of plasma oxytocin and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) were measured before and after each singing condition to assess levels of social affiliation, engagement and arousal. A validated assessment of flow state was administered after each singing condition to assess participants' absorption in the task. The feasibility of the research methods were assessed and initial neurochemical data was generated on group singing. Mean scores of the flow state scale indicated that participants experienced flow in both the pre-composed (M = 37.06) and improvised singing conditions (M = 34.25), with no significant difference between conditions. ACTH concentrations decreased in both conditions, significantly so in the pre-composed singing condition, which may have contributed to the social flow experience. Mean plasma oxytocin levels increased only in response to improvised singing, with no significant difference between improvised and pre-composed singing conditions observed. The results indicate that group singing reduces stress and arousal, as measured by ACTH, and induces social flow in participants. The effects of pre-composed and improvised group singing on oxytocin are less clear. Higher levels of plasma oxytocin in the improvised condition may perhaps be attributed to the social effects of improvising musically with others. Further research with a larger sample size is warranted.

No MeSH data available.