Should Rock Music be played During Surgery?

Scientists in Britain say classical music may be the best option for men when concentrating on a task, but music was found to have no effect on a women’s performance, and they generally performed better than men.

Researchers asked 352 visitors at a celebration to play the game “Operation”. The game involves removing toy “body parts” from a plastic  “patient”  whose nose flashes and buzzes if the tweezers touch the metal sides of the “body”.

The Researchers gave the volunteers headphones that played one of three tracks – “Andante” by Mozart, Thunderstruck by AC/DC, or the sound of an operating theatre. The team then timed how long it took for the participants to remove three “body parts”, and tracking their mistakes.

The results revealed that men who listened to AC/DC‘s Thunderstruck were slower and made more mistakes compared to the others, with  an average 36 mistakes, while the Sonata and operating theatre noises averaged 28 in the same one minute allowed to complete the task.

Generally, the women took longer to remove the body parts but made fewer mistake, and the rock music affected men more than women. One explanation, could be that rock music causes more “stress” in men, and Mozart reduced the number of mistakes.

The, lead author of the research said “Although this study is “tongue-in-cheek” it’s part of a wider research into the effect of music on performance in an operating theatre.”

She explained that music is played up to 72% of the time in operating theatres, and experts are divided on whether it has any beneficial effect.

“It does suggests that, for surgery at least, rock music may be a bad idea,”


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