Differences in the Course of Physiological Functions and in Subjective Evaluations in Connection With Listening to the Sound of a Chainsaw and to the Sounds of a Forest



Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Frontiers in Psychology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Sports Studies

Web https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.775173/full
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.775173
Keywords acoustic stimuli; vasoconstriction; blood volume pulse amplitude; heart rate; respiration; skin conductance level
Description We explored differences in the course of physiological functions and in the subjective evaluations in response to listening to a 7-min recording of the sound of a chainsaw and to the sounds of a forest. A Biofeedback 2000x-pert apparatus was used for continual recording of the following physiological functions in 50 examined persons: abdominal and thoracic respiration and their amplitude and frequency, electrodermal activity (skin conductance level), finger skin temperature, heart rate (pulse, blood volume pulse and blood volume pulse amplitude) and heart rate variability (HRV). The group of 25 subjects listening to the sound of a chainsaw exhibited significantly lower values of blood volume pulse amplitude, lower values in peak alpha frequency HRV and higher values in peak high-frequency HRV. In the time interval from 80 s to 209 s, in which the two groups showed the greatest differences, lower values of blood volume pulse were also recorded while listening to the sound of a chainsaw. Listening to the sound of a chainsaw is associated with a greater feeling of fatigue and higher tension, while listening to the sounds of a forest is even considered to elicit feelings of improved learning abilities. The assumption that listening to the sound of a chainsaw results in higher defense arousal was confirmed. The greater variability which is exhibited by a majority of physiological functions while listening to the forest sounds may also be an innovative finding. It seems that there are two types of arousal (sympathetic and parasympathetic) following from correlations between physiological functions and subjective assessment. Low values of blood volume pulse amplitude are especially important from the health perspective. They correspond to the amount of vasoconstriction which occurs in the endothelial dysfunction related to increased mortality, incidence of myocardial infarction, leg atherosclerosis and topically to COVID-19.
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