The Effect of Binaural Beats blended with Classical Music on State Anxiety Reduction

Preprint 2021

Yuxuan Liu and Youngjun Cho

While alpha binaural beats and classical music treatment have been actively explored in alleviating state anxiety, no previous research has looked into a possibility of blending the two subtle interventions for amplifying their mental wellbeing benefit in daily settings. We hypothesize that classical music overlaid with binaural beats is more effective than classical music alone in reducing state anxiety. Twenty four participants were randomly assigned to one of three different intervention groups: binaural beats combined with classical music, classical music alone, and no intervention. We investigate this with POMS tension-anxiety questionnaire, facial features and attentional control game to assess the anxiety levels in our experiment. Our findings show that classical music with binaural beat most significantly reduces state anxiety. Furthermore, we evaluate the effectiveness of the physiological and behavioural anxiety measures and offer recommendations for future anxiety intervention research through sound.
This work builds on our previous projects [1-5].


[1] Cho, Y., Bianchi-Berthouze, N. and Julier, S.J., 2017. DeepBreath: Deep learning of breathing patterns for automatic stress recognition using low-cost thermal imaging in unconstrained settings. In 2017 Seventh International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII), pp. 456-463.

[2] Cho, Y., Julier, S. J. and Bianchi-Berthouze, N., 2019. Instant Stress: Detection of Perceived Mental Stress Through Smartphone Photoplethysmography and Thermal Imaging. JMIR mental health, 6(4), e10140.

[3] Cho, Y. and Bianchi-Berthouze, N., 2019. Physiological and affective computing through thermal imaging: A survey. arXiv preprint arXiv:1908.10307.

[4] Cho, Y., 2021. Rethinking Eye-blink: Assessing Task Difficulty through Physiological Representation of Spontaneous Blinking. In Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 1-12.

[5] Cho, Y., et al.,2019. Nose heat: Exploring stress-induced nasal thermal variability through mobile thermal imaging. In 2019 8th International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII), pp. 566-572