Music Tempo, Fatigue, and Attention (07-17-19)

Li, Chen, and Zhang investigated links between music tempo, fatigue, and attention.  As they report, “drivers were enrolled in four sessions of real-road driving tests under the following four music conditions: no music, slow tempo, medium tempo and fast tempo. . . . Of the three tempos, medium-tempo music is the best choice to reduce fatigue and maintain attention for a long-distance driving. Slow-tempo music can temporarily boost the quality of attention, but after a long period of driving, it significantly deteriorates the driver’s levels of fatigue and attention. Fast-tempo music helps relieve driver fatigue but significantly deteriorates drivers’ attention after an extended driving time.”  The researchers describe music listened to by study participants: “We selected three versions [of the same song], which corresponded to our slow-tempo (40–70 bpm [beats per minute]), medium-tempo (85–110 bpm) and fast-tempo (> 120 bpm) categories. . . .  the tempos of these remixes were 42, 92 and 122 bpm, respectively.”    

Rui Li, Yingjie Chen, and Linghao Zhang.  “Effect of Music Tempo on Long-Distance Driving:  Which Tempo is the Most Effective at Reducing Fatigue?”  i-Perception, in press,