Posts Tagged ‘Mozart Effect’

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 Retrieved for this systematic investigation were about 40 independent studies, published ones as well as a number of unpublished academic theses from the US and elsewhere, totaling more than 3000 participants.”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.

3 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Mark Clare - May 31, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Categories: IQ and EQ, Music and Audio   Tags:

Does Listening to Classical Music Increase IQ?

I get this question a lot. It goes back to the craze around the Mozart Effect or the idea you can get smart by listening to Mozart’s music.  As far as I can tell there is no (or little) scientific evidence to support the idea. There is some evidence however that listening may temporarily (10-15 min)  improve your spatial reasoning skills.

More relevant for readers of the next Brain Blog is the growing evidence that learning to play a musical instrument can improve many cognitive skills and perhaps raise IQ.    Scans reveal musician’s brains look different and they tend to score higher on standardized tests for spatial-temporal tasks, verbal memory and even math. One study suggested a small increase in IQ of children taking music lessons.

As learning to play a musical instrument brings intrinsic satisfaction, it may be a particularly good option for building YourNextBrain! Interested to hear from reader with brain boosting experiences related to learning an instrument.

Source: Image of brain and sheet music

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mark Clare - March 3, 2010 at 1:51 am

Categories: Child, IQ and EQ, Memory and Learning, Music and Audio, Training   Tags: