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This study examined the effects of sensory deprivation and music on perceived exertion and affect. Volunteer women (N=24) performed three 18-min sessions on a cycle ergometer at light, moderate, and heavy workloads during which perceived exertion, affect, and heart rate were monitored. Each subject participated in a control, deprivation, and music condition. No significant differences where found in heart rate between conditions. In contrast, significantly lower perceived exertion existed during the music compared to the deprived condition at the low workload. Similarly, there was lower perceived exertion during the music compared to the control condition at the moderate workload. Also, significantly greater levels of affect were observed during the music compared to the deprived condition at the moderate and heavy workloads. It was concluded that the influence of music and deprivation on perceived exertion and affect was load dependent. These results are discussed with regard to informational processing models of sensory and psychological input.
Stephen H. Boutcher and Michele Trenske are with the Department of Health & Physical Education at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903.