Effects of familiar voices on brain activity

Authors

  • Yuji L Tanaka RN PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, Chiba University, Graduate School of Nursing, Chiba, Japan
      Yuji L. Tanaka, Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, Chiba University Graduate School of Nursing, 1-8-1, Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba-city, Chiba 260-8672, Japan. Email: yuji@faculty.chiba-u.jp
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  • Yumi Kudo RN MA

    1. Doctor Candidate, Course on Studies of Public Affairs, Chiba University, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Science, Chiba, Japan
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Yuji L. Tanaka, Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, Chiba University Graduate School of Nursing, 1-8-1, Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba-city, Chiba 260-8672, Japan. Email: yuji@faculty.chiba-u.jp

Abstract

This study aimed to examine the extent to which a familiar voice influences brain activity. Participants were nine healthy female volunteers aged 21–34 years old (with a mean age of 25.78 ± 4.04 years). Brain activity was recorded during periods of silence, familiar and unfamiliar voices. Electroencephalographic data were collected and analyzed using a frequency rate set at 5 min. To account for emotional influences imbedded into the contents of the voice stimuli, both the voice of a familiar family member and the voice of a stranger were used to record a well-known Japanese fairy tale, ‘Momotaro’. Results revealed that listening to familiar voices increased the rate of the β band (13–30 Hz) in all four brain areas (F3, F4, C3 and C4). In particular, increased activity was observed at F4 and C4. Findings revealed that in study, participants' familiar voices activated cerebral functioning more than unfamiliar voices.

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