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The Mozart Effect: The Power of Music

The Mozart Effect: The Power of Music

What if listening to music makes you smarter? This would mean that music is the solution to improving our cognitive and mental abilities. Does this sound too good to be true? There has been research done that indicates how the power of music improves the brain and it’s called the Mozart Effect.

Most of the information used in this article will be based on Don Campbell’s book, The Mozart Effect.

Campbell decided to write a book for people interested in easy ways to boost their own and their children’s I.Q. He titled it  "The Mozart Effect : Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind and Unlock the Creative Spirit."

While the proposition of mozart effect is very useful to all, the benefits that Campbell promotes are not certain; there is not enough evidence to fully support the mozart effect. However, the information Campbell uses is serious research that suggests that music does have an impact on cognitive ability and mental illness.

One of the first research projects about this topic was conducted in 1988, when neurobiologist Gordon Shaw, along with graduate student Xiaodan Leng, first attempted to model brain activity on a computer at the University of California at Irvine . They found in simulations patterns and rhythms that indicated basic exchange of mental activity. They then decided to use sounds in their simulations and surprisingly,, the rhythmic patterns sounded somewhat familiar to the patterns of the brain, with some of the characteristics of baroque, new age, or Eastern music. Shaw hypothesized: might patterns in music somehow stimulate the brain by activating similar firing patterns of nerve clusters?

In 1995, Rauscher, Shaw, and Ky reproduced Gorden’s experiment by dividing seventy-nine students into three groups. The group that listened to the Mozart selection showed an increase in spatial IQ test scores. A further test showed that listening to other types of music (nonspecific "dance" music) did not have the same effect.

In 1995, researchers at State University of New York at Albany replicated the same test. They broadened the test group to 114 subjects, and the age spread from 18 to 51 years with a mean age of 27.3. This showed no similar increase in spatial IQ scores after listening to Mozart and also indicated that there was no correlation to higher spatial IQ scores and music lessons earlier in life, or a correlation to higher spatial IQ scores and a preference for classical music. Similar results were found the same year in a study by two Canadian University researchers, Nantais and Schellenberg.

As you have read, there is a lot of research done supporting the mozart effect but also research that goes against the mozart effect. To this day, no one is certain that this exists. If you are interested in learning more about the mozart effect, I suggest you to browse the internet for more information. Perhaps you will be the next scientist to prove that this exists.

You can also check out:

http://www.howtolearn.com/products/mozart-effect/

http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/lerch1/edpsy/mozart_effect.html#The Mozart

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ysN0ckBk9I

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