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Sunday, 19 January 2014

Brain-Boosting Music

Brain-Boosting Music

07
It’s pretty well known that music has a measurable effect on our mood and our perception of the world. You can probably easily recall a time when a particularly sad song made you melancholy, or, conversely, an upbeat track that made you want to smile and dance.
Turns out it’s not only our emotions that can benefit from a dose of good music. Our cognitive abilities can also be affected by listening to specific musical scores. Research by Northumbria University in UK had people performing a test that measured mental concentration. Participants had to watch for a green square to pop up on a computer screen, and press space as it did so, while ignoring other colors and shapes.
Some participants did so in silence; others listened to different movements from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons concerti. The more upbeat “Spring” concerto resulted in the best average response time of 393.8 milliseconds; the slow “Autumn” one increased people’s reaction time to 413.3 milliseconds, as compared to the 408.1 milliseconds for those who listened to no music at all.
Another study showed that music can help people recall autobiographical memories following an “acquired brain injury.” So it seems that carefully chosen music can play a pivotal role in boosting people’s cognitive abilities, attention, and memory.

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