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An Investigation of the Effect the Presence of Different Genres of Music Have on Reaction Rate to Visual Stimulus

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Aylin Huzmeli IB Biology Mr. Steve 22/2/2012 An Investigation of the Effect the Presence of Different Genres of Music Have on Reaction Rate to Visual Stimulus Background: There are many parts concerning the response to a stimulus. A stimulus is any change in the environment which is detected by a receptor and a response is the change in the organism due to that stimulus. The pathway in which a response occurs is comprised of many parts. First a stimulus is detected by a receptor which transforms the stimuli into a nerve impulse. A sensory neuron will connect the receptor to the central nervous system and the neuron travels along its axon. A motor neuron will than carry the impulse from the central nervous system to an effector (muscles or glands) which causes the response in the organism. The time it takes to react to a stimulus is the reaction rate and includes both the reaction time (involves attention resources and processing information) and the movement time (the time it takes for muscles to move. There are different factors that can affect the reaction rate by influencing the attention of an organism. Research Question: What effect does the presence of different types of music such as heavy metal and classical music have on reaction rate compared to no presence of music? ...read more.


There was some variations as can be seen in subject 2 were the rate of reactions in the presence of metal and classical were nearly identical and in subject 5 were classical music caused the slowest reaction time. Conclusion: The experiment does support the hypothesis for the presence of either genres of music does decrease the reaction rate. Furthermore, in the majority of the subjects the presence of heavy metal caused a slower reaction rate than the classical music. The presence of music must have affected the neural pathway by affecting the organisms processing ability of the stimulus. Since heavy metal is much more cacophonic it would have been more of a distraction than the more relaxing classical music. However, the presence of music overall seems to have caused a distraction and therefore influences the response rate. However, there is a variation of the results which does effect the conclusion that can be made on how music affects reaction time. The reaction rate of subjects in the presence of classical music was varied which might correspond to their liking of the music or not, or if doing the previous trials influenced their performance in the test. Since there is a very high P value, 68.9%, it can be concluded there is a very small effect of music on reaction rate. Evaluation: Most of the values were precise since they ranged from values between 0.2-0.5 seconds. ...read more.


Also, the effect of the volume of the music or the volume of different types of music could be on reaction rate could be investigated. The experiment should also have used more subjects in order to obtain a wider spread of data to see if the presence of music is significant and this would most likely lower the P-value. Appendices: Heavy Metal Song: "In the Arms of Perdition" by the Despised Classical Music Song: "Tristesse" by Chopin Table 1. Raw Data results of reaction time in the presence of no music, heavy metal, and classical Trial Number Reaction Time with No Music (seconds�0.001) Reaction time with Presence of Heavy Metal Music (seconds�0.001) Reaction time With Presence of Classical Music (seconds�0.001) Subject 1 1 0.413 0.515 0.402 2 0.391 0.52 0.379 3 0.53 0.474 0.373 4 0.377 0.28 0.416 5 0.642 0.635 0.694 Subject 2 1 0.274 0.239 0.275 2 0.269 0.287 0.236 3 0.245 0.251 0.49 4 0.296 0.265 0.221 5 0.263 0.219 0.259 Subject 3 1 0.222 0.421 0.219 2 0.262 0.234 0.242 3 0.259 0.222 0.236 4 0.262 0.302 0.252 5 0.297 0.234 0.292 Subject 4 1 0.271 0.255 0.228 2 0.277 0.334 0.216 3 0.256 0.253 0.235 4 0.297 0.328 0.239 5 0.239 0.238 0.265 Subject 5 1 0.256 0.282 0.347 2 0.385 0.360 1.029 3 0.308 0.302 0.340 4 0.310 0.62 0.349 5 0.296 0.305 0.348 Subject 6 1 0.213 0.258 0.203 2 0.222 0.275 0.205 3 0.200 0.330 0.174 4 0.195 0.191 0.212 5 0.206 0.214 0.217 ...read more.

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