Music and Pain: Evidence from Experimental Perspectives

Laura Mitchell and Raymond MacDonald

in Music, Health, and Wellbeing

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199586974
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738357 | DOI:
Music and Pain: Evidence from Experimental Perspectives

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This chapter highlights the experimental evidence supporting the efficacy of music for pain relief and for the cognitive and emotional mechanisms underpinning it. Although it is clear that induced pain is a different physiological and psychological experience to that which occurs through injury or illness, this experimental work is, in unison with clinical studies, providing valuable evidence that can be applied effectively in healthcare. Several interesting areas are highlighted for further investigation, such as the addition of tasks to test effects on attention directly, and the role of arousal, which has been implicated in the findings of various studies but seldom measured systematically.

Keywords: music therapy; pain relief; cognitive mechanism; emotional mechanism; induced pain

Chapter.  5501 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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