How does the prefrontal cortex “listen” to classical and techno music? A functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) study

Marcelo Bigliassi, Umberto León-Domínguez, Leandro Ricardo Altimari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 American Psychological Association. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of 2 extremely different music genres (techno and classical) on emotional responses and brain activity. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy was used to measure the activity of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) area (medial, left dorsolateral, and right dorsolateral). Emotional responses were assessed through physiological and psychological measures by using heart rate variability and the Self-Assessment Manikin, respectively. Both pieces of music increased the PFC activity, but classical music caused greater activity in the dorsolateral areas. Classical music was capable of increasing parasympathetic activity; conversely, techno music reduced parasympathetic activation after 10 min of music exposure. Multiple physiological systems interact as a means to process sensory stimuli. The general message carried by the auditory stimuli is capable of accelerating or decelerating the activity of the autonomic system. Psychological assessments were not sufficiently sensitive to capture those modifications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-256
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology and Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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