In this paper new evidence is provided to indicate that vestibular responses may be obtained from loud dance music for intensities above 90 dB(A) SPL (Impulse-weighted). In a sample of ten subjects acoustically evoked EMG were obtained from the sternocleidomastoid muscle in response to a sample of techno music typical of that which may be experienced in a dance club. Previous research has shown that this response is vestibularly mediated since it can be obtained in subjects with loss of cochlear function, but is absent in subjects with loss of vestibular function (Colebatch et al. [J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr. 57, 190–197 (1994)]. Given that pleasurable sensations of self-motion are widely sought after by more normal means of vestibular stimulation, it is suggested that acoustically evoked sensations of self-motion may account for the compulsion to exposure to loud music. Given further the similarity between the thresholds found, and the intensities and frequency distributions that are typical in rock concerts and dance clubs, it is also suggested that this response may be a physiological basis for the minimum loudness necessary for rock and dance music to work—the “rock and roll threshold” [Dibble, J. Audio Eng. Soc. 43(4), 251–266 (1995)].

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