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article imageListening to rock music can make you lose board games

By Tim Sandle     Dec 17, 2016 in Odd News
Sydney - In one of the strange science research stories of the week, the type of music you listen to when playing a board game can influence your chances of winning and losing. With music selection and the odds of winning there appears to be a gender difference.
The research into the influence of music is a collaboration between London's Imperial College and the Royal College of Music. The study found that men perform worse when playing a board game if rock music is blaring from the speakers and better when the more soothing tunefulness of classic music can be heard. In contrast, the type of music played appears to make no difference to the success of playing a board game to women.
This outcome relates to research undertaken with one board game and two types of music. The board game was Operation. With this game the objective is to remove organs from a schematic of a patient (who is called Cavity Sam) without activating an electronic buzzer. The aim is to test each players' hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. In all some 352 subjects participated in the study.
The music played, from the rock spectrum — AC/DC; and from the classical end — Mozart. For a control group there was no music, just the sounds of a hospital. Teams of men and women competed against each other with the type of music played varied. The reason why the type of music affected men but not women is thought to relate to rock music triggering greater auditory stress in men than women. With men this hearing effect seems to lower the concentration. Men who performed the game while the track "Thunderstruck" was playing triggered around 36 mistakes on average; whereas men who took part while the Sonata was playing made 28 mistakes on average.
Discussing the findings with Sky News, the lead researcher, Dr Daisy Fancourt, told the news site: "Although this study was all performed in our spare time, it is part of our wider research into the effect of music on performance — particularly in a medical setting such as an operating theater. One of our areas of research is how we can boost performance in many different settings — from rowing in the Olympics to a musical performance."
The research is published in the Medical Journal of Australia, with the paper titled "The razor’s edge: Australian rock music impairs men’s performance when pretending to be a surgeon."
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