Research project The aim of this project is to elucidate the mechanisms mediating documented effects of music upon athletic performance. To this end we will compare adults’ performance in aerobic exercise-to-music across four different types of rhythmical sound patterns (including a music programme).
Music is widely used in various forms of exercise and athletic training, and relatively strong effects of music upon athletic performance are documented. It has been reported to increase task-specific performance, increase heart rate and oxygen uptake during exercise, and to decrease pain and fatigue, for example. The mechanisms underlying such effects are poorly understood, however, partly because previous research has failed to disentangle possible components of music in this regard. This project will help reveal and disentangle mechanisms mediating music’s effects upon athletic performance. Such knowledge can indicate under which conditions music will be effective and direct the design of appropriate training schemes involving music or other sound patterns. If little difference is found between music proper and simple rhythmic patterns, it would open possibilities for developing dynamic, task-specifically tailored sound patterns for athletic achievement.