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Title: Influence of music training on academic examination-induced stress in Thai adolescents.
Authors: Janejira Laohawattanakun
Supornpim Chearskul
Hattaya Dumrongphol
Nuanchan Jutapakdeegula
Juntima Yensukjai
Nipaporn Khumphan
Songwit Niltiean
Wipawan Thangnipon
Mahidol University. National Institute for Child and Family Development
Mahidol University. Institute of Molecular Biosciences. Research Center for Neuroscience
Mahidol University. Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital. Department of Physiology
Keywords: Salivary cortisol;Academic examination
Issue Date: 2011
Citation: Neuroscience Letters. Vol. 487, (2011), 310–312
Abstract: Several pieces of evidence suggest that academic examinations fulfill the classical requirement of a psychological stressor. Academic examinations represent a stressful challenge to many students, but studies on examination-dependent corticosteroid response, a sensitive physiological indicator of a stress response, are inconsistent. In addition, several studies showed that music can decrease cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels, and other studies have found that music also may enhance a variety of cognitive functions, such as attention, learning, communication and memory. The present study investigated cortisol response in saliva of Thai adolescents taking academic examinations and analyzed the differences of the stress response between musician and control subjects. Also, we observed whether the academic examination-dependent corticosteroid response affected learning and memory in the test subjects, which comprised 30 musician and 30 control students, age ranging from 15 to 17 years. Mathematical examinations were used as the stressor. Pre- and post-academic examination saliva cortisol levels were measured including self-estimated stress levels. Results showed that the pre-academic examination saliva cortisol concentrations of the musician group are significantly lower than those of the control group, whereas there is no difference in the stress inventory scores. Interestingly, among students with grade point average (GPA) of >3.50, pre-academic examination cortisol levels are significantly lower in the musician compared with control group. This study suggests that under academic examination-induced stress condition, music training can reduce saliva cortisol level in Thai adolescents.
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