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Music has long been known to affect people's mood. A certain tune can lift you up or bring you to tears, make you focus, relax or even run faster. Now a study is investigating how the power of music may improve human performance in one of the most stressful and alien environments we know – space.
Music can help release a cocktail of hormones that have a positive effect on us: oxytocin, endorphin, serotonin and dopamine. Besides the pleasure we get from it, music can be used to prolong efficiency and reduce anxiety.
Factors - Space - Sleep - Time - Perception
Stress factors in space can lead to disrupted sleep, impaired time perception and spatial orientation.
"Space appeared to me as the perfect testing ground to use anti-stress music," says violin teacher Luis Luque Álvarez, whose 'Music for space' project puts the psycho-physiological research of music at the service of space exploration.
Child - Luis - Dreamt - Things - Violin
As a child, Luis dreamt of two things: playing violin in an orchestra and space travel.
In his thirties as a talented violinist in Hungary, he noticed some videos of astronauts playing instruments in space.
Research - Music - Part - Astronauts - Lives
He started to research and learned that music is a part of the astronauts' daily lives in space, from launch, when mission control plays music to the crews during the countdown, to orbit, where every astronaut has their own playlist to listen to in off-duty moments.
Could he scientifically select the best music to reduce the stress of a crew member?
'Music - Space - Experiment - Year - DLR
Fast forward to the 'Music for Space' experiment, which ran last year at DLR's Short Arm Human Centrifuge as part of the first Spin Your Thesis! – Human Edition.
Ten volunteers rode on a centrifuge, being spun until they felt one and a half times the weight of their bodies. Half of them listened to Beethoven's ninth symphony and the Planet Earth II soundtrack by Hans Zimmer, Jasha Klebe...
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