Cortisol, Biochemical, and Galvanic Skin Responses to Music Stimuli of Different Preference Values by College Students in Biology and Music

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The purpose of this study was to examine biochemical and galvanic skin responses to music stimuli. Specifically, 30 university biology and 30 music students' plasma levels of norepinephrine and cortisol and their galvanic skin responses were measured before and after listening to two different musical selections, one of which was preferred (liked) by the music students and not preferred (disliked) by the biology students. The music-listening sessions and the controlled silent sessions were done in an anechoic chamber. 30 biology majors and 30 music majors were in the experimental groups; 14 biology and 17 music majors comprised the control group. Analysis indicated that the Cortisol levels and galvanic skin responses were significantly higher for the music majors than the biology majors. The data indicate that music majors listen more critically and analytically to music than biology majors, and Cortisol levels are associated with this as increases in music majors and decreases in biology majors after the music.

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