Differences in neurophysiological activity induced by viewing live versus recorded opera performance

In an age where recorded audio/visual performance media is ubiquitous and easily accessed, there may seem to be little impetus to experience a performance live. However, live performance is very important clinically, where it is well known to be more effective than recorded performance in a variety of applications including sleep induction, stress and pain reduction, and improved compliance during diagnostic measurements. Moreover, experiencing live performance is thought to have numerous social benefits such as fostering social unity and awareness, along with cultural appreciation. The more powerful effect of live over recorded performance undoubtedly has neurophysiological underpinnings. Nevertheless, few neurophysiological studies have investigated direct comparisons of brain activity induced by viewing live verses recorded performance. In partnership with the Opera de Montréal (OdeM), this study represents an unprecedented opportunity to explore this line of inquiry via the recording of encephalograms of subjects while they watch live and recorded opera performances.

Faculty Supervisor:

Pierre-Majorique Léger


Jared Boasen


Opéra de Montréal


Visual arts


Medical devices


HEC Montréal



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