Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Rock music


Why do we like the music we do? Research has shown that musical preferences and personality are linked, yet little is known about other influences on preferences such as cognitive styles. To address this gap, we investigated how individual differences in musical preferences are explained by the empathizing-systemizing (E-S) theory. Study 1 examined the links between empathy and musical preferences across four samples. By reporting their preferential reactions to musical stimuli, samples 1 and 2 (Ns = 2,178 and 891) indicated their preferences for music from 26 different genres, and samples 3 and 4 (Ns = 747 and 320) indicated their preferences for music from only a single genre (rock or jazz). Results across samples showed that empathy levels are linked to preferences even within genres and account for significant proportions of variance in preferences over and above personality traits for various music-preference dimensions. Study 2 (N = 353) replicated and extended these findings by investigating how musical preferences are differentiated by E-S cognitive styles (i.e., ‘brain types’). Those who are type E (bias towards empathizing) preferred music on the Mellow dimension (R&B/soul, adult contemporary, soft rock genres) compared to type S (bias towards systemizing) who preferred music on the Intense dimension (punk, heavy metal, and hard rock). Analyses of fine-grained psychological and sonic attributes in the music revealed that type E individuals preferred music that featured low arousal (gentle, warm, and sensual attributes), negative valence (depressing and sad), and emotional depth (poetic, relaxing, and thoughtful), while type S preferred music that featured high arousal (strong, tense, and thrilling), and aspects of positive valence (animated) and cerebral depth (complexity). The application of these findings for clinicians, interventions, and those on the autism spectrum (largely type S or extreme type S) are discussed.

Concepts: Psychology, Cognition, Revealed preference, Preference, Utility, Rock music, Genre, Rock music genres


Classical music has been shown to reduce stress in kennelled dogs; however, rapid habituation of dogs to this form of auditory enrichment has also been demonstrated. The current study investigated the physiological and behavioural response of kennelled dogs (n=38) to medium-term (5days) auditory enrichment with five different genres of music including Soft Rock, Motown, Pop, Reggae and Classical, to determine whether increasing the variety of auditory stimulation reduces the level of habituation to auditory enrichment. Dogs were found to spend significantly more time lying and significantly less time standing when music was played, regardless of genre. There was no observable effect of music on barking, however, dogs were significantly (z=2.2, P<0.05) more likely to bark following cessation of auditory enrichment. Heart Rate Variability (HRV) was significantly higher, indicative of decreased stress, when dogs were played Soft Rock and Reggae, with a lesser effect observed when Motown, Pop and Classical genres were played. Relative to the silent period prior to auditory enrichment, urinary cortisol:creatanine (UCCR) valueswere significantly higher during Soft Rock (t=2.781, P<0.01) and the second silent control period following auditory enrichment (t=2.46, P<0.05). Despite the mixed response to different genres, the physiological and behavioural changes observed remained constant over the 5d of enrichment suggesting that the effect of habituation may be reduced by increasing the variety of auditory enrichment provided.

Concepts: Time, Rock music, Opera, Genre, Musical notation, Blues, Music genre, Jazz


Rock and pop fame is associated with risk taking, substance use and premature mortality. We examine relationships between fame and premature mortality and test how such relationships vary with type of performer (eg, solo or band member) and nationality and whether cause of death is linked with prefame (adverse childhood) experiences.

Concepts: Cohort study, Longitudinal study, Death, Demography, Actuarial science, Rock music, David Bowie, Fame


OBJECTIVES:To test Music Marker Theory (MMT) positing that early adolescents' preferences for nonmainstream types of popular music indicate concurrent and later minor delinquency.METHODS:MMT was tested in a 4-year longitudinal study (n = 309).RESULTS:The results showed that early fans of different types of rock (eg, rock, heavy metal, gothic, punk), African American music (rhythm and blues, hip-hop), and electronic dance music (trance, techno/hardhouse) showed elevated minor delinquency concurrently and longitudinally. Preferring conventional pop (chart pop) or highbrow music (classic music, jazz), in contrast, was not related to or was negatively related to minor delinquency.CONCLUSIONS:Early music preferences emerged as more powerful indicators of later delinquency rather than early delinquency, indicating that music choice is a strong marker of later problem behavior. The mechanisms through which music preferences are linked to minor delinquency are discussed within the framework of MMT.

Concepts: African American, Heavy metal music, Funk, Electronica, Rock music, Punk rock, Pop music, Jazz


  Results examining the effects of tasting profile on dietary intake and health outcomes have varied. This study examined the interaction of sweet liker (SL) and supertaster (ST) (bitter taste test through phenylthiocarbamide [PTC]) status with incidence of metabolic syndrome. Participants (n= 196) as part of baseline testing in a behavioral weight loss study completed measures assessing SL and ST status, metabolic syndrome, and dietary intake. SLs were more likely to be African American. More women than men were STs. There was a significant interaction between ST and SL status as associated with metabolic syndrome, after adjustment for demographic characteristics. This interaction was also significantly associated with fiber and caloric beverage intake. Post hoc analyses showed that participants who were only an ST or SL appeared to have a decreased risk of having metabolic syndrome compared with those who have a combination or are neither taster groups (P= 0.047) and that SL + ST consumed less fiber than SL + non-ST (P= 0.04). Assessing genetic differences in taster preferences may be a useful strategy in the development of more tailored approaches to dietary interventions to prevent and treat metabolic syndrome. Practical Application:  Tasting profile, such as sweet liking (SL) or supertaster (ST), may be influenced by genetics, and therefore in turn, may influence dietary intake. The present study found an interaction between ST and SL status with incidence of metabolic syndrome and fiber and caloric beverage intake. Testing people for these tasting profiles may assist with tailoring dietary recommendations, particularly around fiber and caloric beverage intake, and provide a way to modify metabolic syndrome risk.

Concepts: Nutrition, Metabolic syndrome, Taste, Demographics, Preference, Utility, Rock music, Phenylthiocarbamide


According to procedural justice theory, a central factor shaping perceptions about authority figures and dispute resolution processes is whether an individual believes they were treated justly and fairly during personal encounters with agents of authority. This paper describes findings from a community-based participatory research study examining perceptions of procedural justice among sixty people with mental illness regarding their interactions with police. The degree to which these perceptions were associated with selected individual (e.g., socio-demographic characteristics), contextual (e.g., neighborhood, past experiences), and interactional (e.g., actions of the officer) factors was explored. The results of regression analyses indicate that the behavior of police officers during the interactions appears to be the key to whether or not these interactions are perceived by people with mental illness as being procedurally just. Implications of these findings for improving interactions between the police and people with mental illness are discussed.

Concepts: Psychology, Mind, Political philosophy, Justice, Dispute resolution, Rock music, Court, Distributive justice


The present study examined the effect of participants' music genre preference on the neural processes underlying evaluative and cognitive judgments of music using the event-related potential technique. To this aim, two participant groups differing in their preference for Latin American and Heavy Metal music performed a liking judgment and a genre classification task on a variety of excerpts of either music genre. A late positive potential (LPP) was elicited in all conditions between 600 and 900ms after stimulus onset. During the genre classification task, an early negativity was elicited by the preferred compared to the non-preferred music at around 230-370ms whereas the non-preferred genre was characterized by a larger LPP. The findings suggest that evaluative and cognitive judgments of music are accompanied by affective responses and that the valence of music may spontaneously modulate early processes of music categorization even when no overt liking judgment is required.

Concepts: Choice, Event-related potential, Heavy metal music, Funk, Rock music, Jimi Hendrix, Electric guitar, Blues


The aim of this study was to investigate the spontaneous neural activity and functional connectivity (FC) in heavy metal music lovers (HMML) compared with classical music lovers (CML) during resting state. Forty HMML and 31 CML underwent resting-state functional MRI scans. Fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) and seed-based resting-state FC were computed to explore regional activity and functional integration. A voxel-based two-sample t-test was used to test the differences between the two groups. Compared with CML, HMML showed functional alterations: higher fALFF in the right precentral gyrus, the bilateral paracentral lobule, and the left middle occipital gyrus, lower fALFF in the left medial superior frontal gyrus, an altered FC in the default-mode network, lower connectivity between the right precentral gyrus and the left cerebellum-6 and the right cerebellum-3, and an altered FC between the left paracentral lobule and the sensorimotor network, lower in the right paracentral lobule and the right inferior temporal gyrus FC. The results may partly explain the disorders of behavioral and emotional cognition in HMML compared with CML and are consistent with our predictions. These findings may help provide a basic understanding of the potential neural mechanism of HMML.

Concepts: Cerebrum, Superior temporal gyrus, Heavy metal music, Rock music, Glam metal, Hardcore punk, Heavy metal subgenres, Manowar


Listening habits are strongly influenced by two opposing aspects, the desire for variety and the demand for uniformity in music. In this work we quantify these two notions in terms of instrumentation and production technologies that are typically involved in crafting popular music. We assign an ‘instrumentational complexity value’ to each music style. Styles of low instrumentational complexity tend to have generic instrumentations that can also be found in many other styles. Styles of high complexity, on the other hand, are characterized by a large variety of instruments that can only be found in a small number of other styles. To model these results we propose a simple stochastic model that explicitly takes the capabilities of artists into account. We find empirical evidence that individual styles show dramatic changes in their instrumentational complexity over the last fifty years. ‘New wave’ or ‘disco’ quickly climbed towards higher complexity in the 70s and fell back to low complexity levels shortly afterwards, whereas styles like ‘folk rock’ remained at constant high instrumentational complexity levels. We show that changes in the instrumentational complexity of a style are related to its number of sales and to the number of artists contributing to that style. As a style attracts a growing number of artists, its instrumentational variety usually increases. At the same time the instrumentational uniformity of a style decreases, i.e. a unique stylistic and increasingly complex expression pattern emerges. In contrast, album sales of a given style typically increase with decreasing instrumentational complexity. This can be interpreted as music becoming increasingly formulaic in terms of instrumentation once commercial or mainstream success sets in.

Concepts: Emergence, Complexity, Computational complexity theory, Rock music, Simplicity, Popular culture, Music genre, Jazz


Musical rhythms performed by humans typically show temporal fluctuations. While they have been characterized in simple rhythmic tasks, it is an open question what is the nature of temporal fluctuations, when several musicians perform music jointly in all its natural complexity. To study such fluctuations in over 100 original jazz and rock/pop recordings played with and without metronome we developed a semi-automated workflow allowing the extraction of cymbal beat onsets with millisecond precision. Analyzing the inter-beat interval (IBI) time series revealed evidence for two long-range correlated processes characterized by power laws in the IBI power spectral densities. One process dominates on short timescales (t < 8 beats) and reflects microtiming variability in the generation of single beats. The other dominates on longer timescales and reflects slow tempo variations. Whereas the latter did not show differences between musical genres (jazz vs. rock/pop), the process on short timescales showed higher variability for jazz recordings, indicating that jazz makes stronger use of microtiming fluctuations within a measure than rock/pop. Our results elucidate principles of rhythmic performance and can inspire algorithms for artificial music generation. By studying microtiming fluctuations in original music recordings, we bridge the gap between minimalistic tapping paradigms and expressive rhythmic performances.

Concepts: Rhythm, Performance, Music, Meter, Rock music, Syncopation, Tempo, Time signature