The influence of music on concentration in individuals with ADHD

Vorster, J. G. (2020-03)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to determine whether different musical experiences can influence concentration in a positive way. As a result, determining whether music can be used as an alternative management method for attentiondeficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A total of 11 volunteers (8 females and 3 males) with a mean age of 21.85 years, diagnosed with ADHD, participated in this study. Each participant participated in a four-day experiment where they were subjected to a different treatment condition on each day. Specifically, the four conditions consisted of binaural beats, classical music, music of preference, and ADHD medication. To assess performance and concentration, four behavioral tasks (Stroop task, sustained attention task, working memory task as well as time perception task) were introduced during each condition. Functional-near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) was used to monitor the prefrontal cortex for changes in oxy-, deoxy-, and total-haemoglobin across all four days. Analysis of near-infrared spectroscopy data revealed that oxy-haemoglobin induced the greatest activity across the prefrontal cortex. No overall significant differences in activation levels were observed for the four behavioural tasks, however. In terms of the behavioural data, the only significant effect across conditions were observed for the sustained attention task. Here, the medication condition was associated with significantly better performance in comparison to the binaural beats condition. Binaural beats negatively affected performance and increased reaction time during this task. The results from this study suggest that listening to binaural beats negatively impacts sustained attention in comparison to classical music, music of preference, as well as medication. Although these results are not conclusive, it provides initial evidence that different musical experiences affect attention in different ways, thereby supporting its potential use as an alternative management method for ADHD. The study also provides insight into how the ADHD brain responds to different musical experiences as well as medication.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie was om te bepaal of verskillende forms van musiek konsentrasie op ’n positiewe manier kan beinvloed. Die rede waarom daar gekyk word na musiek is om te bepaal of musiek gebruik kan word as ‘n alternatiewe manier om aandagafleibaarheid-hiperaktiwiteitsindroom (ADHD) te bestuur. In totaal het 11 vrywilligers (8 vroulik en 3 manlik) met ‘n gemiddelde ouderdom van 21.85 jaar gediagnoseer met ADHD deelgeneem aan die studie. Al die deelnemers was blootgestel aan vier behandelings metodes naamlik: “binaural beats“, klassieke musiek, musiek van individuele keuse en medikasie. Om te bepaal hoe optrede en konsentrasie beinvloed word was vier gedrags toetse gebruik in die studie. Hierdie toetse het bestaan uit ‘n Stroop toets, volhouare aandags toets, memorisasie toets sowel as ‘n persepsie van tyd toets. Elke deelnemer het deelgeneem aan die experimentele fase wat oor vier dae was. Op elke dag was die deelnemer blootgestel aan ‘n ander behandelings metode. Nabyinfrarooispektroskopie was gebruik om die prefrontale kortex te monitor vir veranderinge in hemoglobin konsentrasies. Gedurende die analise het suurstof-hemoglobien groter verskille oor die prefrontale kortex aangedui. Die analise van hemoglobien het nie beduidende verskille aangetoon oor gedrags toetse nie. Die data van gedrags toetse vertel wel ‘n ander storie. Gedurende die volhoubare aandags toets was gevind dat medikasie verantwoordelik was vir ‘n beduidende verskil in vergelyking met “binaural beats“. Die “binaural beats“ was verantwoordelik vir negatiewe impak op reaksie tyd en het gelei na ‘n toename in tyd. Die resultate van hierdie studie dui daarop aan dat “binaural beats“ verantwoordelik was vir ‘n afname in produktiewiteit in vergelyking met klassieke musiek, musiek van individuele keuse en medikasie. Alhowel hierdie resultate nie beduidend is nie dui die aanvanklike resultate dat verskillende forms van musiek konsentrasie affekteer in verskillende maniere. Die genoemde staaf die potensiaal van musiek as ‘n moontlike bestuurs metode vir ADHD. Hierdie studie voorsien meer insig op hoe die ADHD brein reagreer op musiek sowel as medikasie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108196
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