Date of Award
Master of Music
Edward A, Roth, M.M.
Dr. John S. Spitsbergen
Dr. Lisa Baker
Dr. David S. Smith
Neurochemistry, singing, oxytocin, social, bonding
Masters Thesis-Open Access
The purpose of this study was to examine the neurochemical correlates of group vocal improvisation and to determine the feasibility of the research methods. One group of four participants sang together in two conditions: pre-composed and improvised. Concentrations of plasma oxytocin and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) were measured before and after each singing condition to assess levels of hormones associated with social affiliation, engagement and arousal. Successful implementation of the methodology, including recruitment, data collection, and sample analysis, served as the primary outcome of this study. ACTH concentrations decreased in both conditions, and significantly so in the pre-composed singing condition. Mean plasma oxytocin levels increased only in response to improvised singing, with no significant difference between improvised and pre-composed singing conditions. The results suggest that group singing may reduce stress and arousal, as measured by ACTH. Due to the small sample size, the effects of group singing on oxytocin are less clear. Social affiliation may be better facilitated in improvisatory experiences than pre-composed group singing, as measured by plasma oxytocin.
Keeler, Jason, "The Neurochemistry of Group Singing: Bonding and Oxytocin" (2015). Masters Theses. 660.
Chemical and Pharmacologic Phenomena Commons, Medical Neurobiology Commons, Music Therapy Commons, Neurology Commons