The music you should play at a party to ensure conversations flow

Conversations may flow more easily at parties if the background music is obscure

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If you want your guests to be particularly sociable at an upcoming party, play music they probably haven’t heard before.

Jane Brown at the University of Memphis in Tennessee and her colleague Gavin Bidelman at Indiana University Bloomington wanted to understand how background music affects how we follow conversations.

The team analysed the brain activity of 31 people, aged between 21 and 33, as they listened to 72 minutes of an audiobook, which the researchers used as proxy…

Article amended on 4 December 2023

This article has been changed to correct Gavin Bidelman’s university affiliation