Chronic anxiety is a growing psychological disorder worldwide and in Canada. Even when anxiety presents at pre-clinical levels, it can be disabling. Anti-anxiety drugs have many adverse side-effects. In some cases, listening to music decreases anxiety more effectively than anti-anxiety drugs. Binaural beats may also reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. This project will examine the potential additive effects of combining the anxiety reducing properties of calm inducing music and binaural beats. In this project, we propose to evaluate the anxiety reducing and calming potential of music and binaural beats through electroencephalographic (EEG) band power measures, galvanic skin response (GSR), Heart Rate Variability (HRV), anxiety measures, and emotional state measures (valence, arousal). We predict that the combination of music and binaural beats will cause a greater reduction in anxiety and increase in calmness than either of these conditions. More broadly, the proposed work is intended to provide a proof of concept for the effectiveness of a sound-based treatment of anxiety that is free of harmful side-effects.
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