Undergraduate Honors Posters
The presence of music is a visceral part of the human experience and its influence on cognitive function has become a growing area of research in psychology. In particular, perceptual properties of music (mood and arousal) have been shown to significantly affect performance. There has been minimal research in the field on the interaction of these perceptual properties and their influence on attentional processes. This research study focused on the effects of musical mood and musical arousal on visual attention. Given that music is a highly subjective experience, participants were asked to rate different music clips on independent dimensions of music and arousal. Following these ratings, the clips which participants rated highest and lowest on dimensions of mood (positive and negative) and arousal (low and high) were combined to produce individualized stimuli datasets for use in the next task. Participants were then asked to perform the Posner cueing paradigm while either exposed to silence or music clips. Results indicated that musical mood and musical arousal had no significant effect on performance in contrast to a significant interaction between the variables. Their combination produced the highest levels of performance for high arousal positive mood and lowest performance for low arousal negative mood. Intermediate performance was found for high arousal negative mood and low arousal positive mood conditions. Future studies could further delve into the modulatory effects of mood and arousal using different attention tasks.