Tomatis Effect Research: Emotional Response

This page summarises various research that has been undertaken by Tomatis and his successors in regards to correcting emotional responses. As well as finding that children were better able to respond appropriately to both parents and peers, they found that the Tomatis effect utilised in Sound Therapy can also reduce aggression, anxiety, frustration, and stress.

Badenhorst: laterality and emotional response

Badenhorst (1975) investigated the nature of auditory laterality, paying close attention to Tomatis' technique of observing the amount of mobility of facial muscles whilst speaking which provides a further indication of right or left speech-hearing preference. Badenhorst's subjects were 19 - 21 year old females.

Badenhorst found that the subjects with a right speech-hearing preference had a better capacity to relate appropriately to emotional stimuli and were more in control of their emotional responses, were more extroverted, and were less prone to anxiety, tension, frustration and aggression.


Badenhorst, F.H. (1975). n Rorschachstudie van regssydiges en linkslwsteraars met gemengde laterale voorkeure. Ongepubliseerde M.-graad-skripsie, Potchefstroom Universiteit vir CHO: Potchefstroom.

Van Jaarsveld, P.E. & du Plessis, W.F. (1988). Audio-psycho-phonology at Potchefstroom: a review. South African Journal of Psychology, 18, 136-143.

Peché: anxiety

Anne-Marie Peché (1975) examined the effect of audio-psycho-phonology on 10 females who suffered from anxiety, and found that their hypochondriac and neurotic behaviours decreased significantly, and that they developed more objectivity towards their problems. She concluded that psychic blocks could be eliminated via audio-psycho-phonology training.


Peché, A. (1975). Die effek van Oudio-psigofonoliese opleiding op angs. Ongepubliseerde M.-graad-verhandeling, Potchefstroom Universiteit vir CHO: Potchefstroom.

Du Plessis: anxiety

Wynand du Plessis (1982) conducted a study of the effect of audio-psycho-phonology on anxiety where his subjects were female first year students selected as a result of their scores a variety of tests, including the IPAT Anxiety Scale, the Reactions to Everyday Situations test, the Personal, Home and Formal Relations questionnaire, plus a biographical questionnaire.

Twenty students classed as "anxious" were assigned to either an experimental group or a control group (which did not receive any treatment). The experimental group received 60 half-hour sessions of filtered music and had regular therapeutic interviews.

When all subjects were retested, the level of anxiety of the participants in the experimental group had decreased significantly, while the participants in the control group had experienced no change.

It was also found that the scores in the Purpose in Life test for the experimental group had increased significantly, whereas the scores for those in the control group had decreased. The experimental group also exhibited a significant increase in self-actualization.

Du Plessis then applied the same programme to 14 students who were "non anxious", and found the same results.

Fourteen months after the study, Du Plessis conducted a follow-up study with both anxious groups, and found that the experimental group had maintained its reduction in anxiety levels.


Du Plessis, W.F. (1982). Beangste en nie-beangste eerstejaardamestudente: n Klinies-psigologiese verkenning Ongepubliseerde doktorale proefskrif, Potchefstroom Universiteit vir CHO: Potchefstroom.