At the BIBER institute, we investigate music and its perception and effects with empirical research methods.
Our research projects have a biological theoretical background. For example, we expose participants to musical stimuli, and we measure participants’ reactions with questionnaires and biopsychological research methods.
The BIBER has a biological theoretical background. It includes a laboratory, the Neurobiological Music Lab (NBML) with a modern NeXus-10 MKII (MindMedia). With the NeXus, it is possible to measure various psychophysiological reactions, such as heart rate, heart rate variability, electrodermal activity, blood pressure, respiration, and temperature, as well as brain responses with EEG. Our laboratory computers are equipped with the LabVanced software which allows the exposure to musical stimuli and the simultaneous measurement of participants’ reactions.
A prominent research topic of the BIBER is the investigation of musical chills. Chills are intense experiences which can occur when listening to music. Participants describe chills as shivers down the spine, lump in the throat, tears, goose bumps, and trembling. Usually they are perceived as positive experiences. In our current research projects, we aim to determine which subjective and physiological reactions are associated with chills when participants listen to their favourite songs. In addition, we are investigating under which conditions chills occur more or less frequently and which personality traits are associated with frequent chill experiences. Further research topics in the BIBER are music performance anxiety and the effects of music on subsequent decision-making behavior. Future research topics are in preparation.