Mozart effect research paper

Those who listened to Mozart were able to identify the correct shape of the unfolded paper more quickly than those who had sat in silence for 10 minutes, or those who had listened to a tape of relaxing sounds.

Molecular basis for Mozart effect revealed | New Scientist

So the non-musicians got a particularly large jolt of stimulation in the precise part of the brain they needed for the test. Indeed, another reason for the disparate results found with the Mozart effect in the past may have to do with the number of different tests used. They add one other caveat regarding the new study: The participants were all right-handed. So for at least one sizable segment of society — right-handed non-musicians — the Mozart effect appears to be real.


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Ironically, the composer was not only a musician, but also, by most reports, left-handed. Sign up for our free e-newsletter. Are you on Facebook? Become our fan. Follow us on Twitter. Add our news to your site. In Florida, a bill was passed requiring all state-funded education and child-care programs to give a daily dose of classical music to children under five years old.

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Recently, the coach of the New York Jets, Eric Mangini, began playing classical music to help his football players concentrate at training camp study sessions. While the Mozart Effect flourishes commercially, the U. Irvine study that launched the phenomenon has been widely criticized.

The startling results announced by the initial paper were misleading. First, the researchers claimed that the undergraduates improved on all three spatial-reasoning tests. But, as Shaw later clarified, the only enhancement came from one task — paper folding and cutting. Further, the researchers presented the data in the form of Stanford-Binet IQ scores; yet the study only measured spatial-reasoning, one-third of a complete IQ test. The methodology of the study has also come under fire.

According to some critics, the test group of 36 psychology undergraduates may not have been large or varied enough to produce credible results. Nor did they examine how posture, food intake, or the time of day modified their listening.

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Or perhaps the students experienced a change in mood and arousal rather than a fluctuation in intelligence. One study found that listening to a Stephen King short story had a comparable effect on spatial-reasoning scores, but only for those who enjoyed what they heard.

Irvine study? But the most damaging blow to the Mozart Effect has been the failure of other researchers to reproduce the Irvine results.

Psychologist Kenneth Steele and his colleagues replicated the experiment in and found no trace of the Mozart Effect. Frances Rauscher, co-author of the Irvine study, countered that the Mozart Effect cannot be found under all laboratory conditions. In , the German Ministry of Education and Research conducted a similar meta-analysis. Their findings were unambiguous: passively listening to any kind of music, whether by Mozart or Madonna, does not increase intelligence.

The German report did, however, propose a link between musical training and IQ development. According to recent studies, the motor and auditory skills developed for musical performance may have a long-term influence on intelligence.

In fact, brain mapping has revealed that professional musicians have more grey matter in their right auditory cortex than nonmusicians, as if practicing an instrument flexed a muscle in the brain. It seems increasingly likely that the long-term practice of playing music, rather than merely listening, can have the kind of impact suggested by the Mozart Effect.

Einstein, after all, organized his mind by playing the violin, not listening to a recording. Ironically, the U. Irvine researchers had initially planned to test whether music training for young children would increase higher brain function.

Essay about The mozart effect

When Shaw, a particle physicist, developed an interest in neuroscience later in his career, U. Irvine gave him the freedom to research what he wanted. No art-lover expects to absorb a better memory by staring at a Renaissance painting. No reader hopes to pluck IQ points from a classic novel.

The Mystery of the Mozart Effect: Failure to Replicate

According to the most recent spate of biographies, the real Mozart was an incessant reviser addicted to his work. Yet the details of the Mozart legend — his astonishing prowess as a child prodigy, his immaculate first drafts — have bolstered the popular belief that the composer was a fine-tuned antenna picking up snatches of celestial song. But Mozart is not the only magic genius. The transformation of a dubious psychology study into a multi-million dollar industry also has a touch of the miraculous. In plain English, it can improve your concentration, enhance your ability to make intuitive leaps, and, not incidentally, shave a few strokes off your golf game!

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