Mozart Effect Does Not Improve Spatial Ability

There is no doubt music has a big impact on how we think and feel. But can it be used to improve brain function and cognitive performance? We have explored this question with several posts on the Next Brain blog including one on the so-called Mozart effect. This effect claims that listening to Mozart’s music can increase your IQ.

In an earlier post we found that there was some evidence that it can temporarily improve your spatial reasoning ability. Now the Science Daily reports on research from the University of Vienna that even dashes that hope.  The study found that there is no evidence for the effect, not even a temporary improvement.  It is important to note:

“Their comprehensive study of studies synthesizes the entirety of the scientific record on the topic. Retrieved for this systematic investigation were about 40 independent studies, published ones as well as a number of unpublished academic theses from the US and elsewhere, totaling more than 3000 participants.”

So this negative finding will likely stand.    This of course does not mean that more active improvement techniques such as learning to play a musical instrument fail to boost cognitive performance.