Mozart Effect Replicated, Again

From a study by Rideout BE, Dougherty S, and Wernert L:

Previous attempts by various researchers to replicate the enhancement of spatial performance following 10 min. exposure to music have been inconsistent in their findings. In the present study 16 subjects showed reliable improvement on a paper-folding-and-cutting task after listening to Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D major (K. 448), as employed by others. The enhanced performance was also noted for 16 other subjects after listening to a contemporary selection having similar musical characteristics [emphasis added]. In both cases the control procedure included 10 min. of listening to a progressive relaxation tape.

If you’re not familiar with this piece of music, here it is:

More replication for the Mozart Effect; the research is becoming more and more reliable as it evolves. This is not unusual in science, as often initial experiments are difficult to replicate, and it is only with further understanding that scientists are able to understand the mechanisms at work. Thanks to the persistent efforts of the researchers that I highlight here, and their dedication to understanding the phenomena not only of the Mozart Effect, but of the brain’s responses to music, and particularly classical music, we now are beginning to comprehend the subject. I lived through this in the 1970s and 1980s, when we knew all about the brain that there was to know, and initial research in other areas of neuroscience were discredited and ignored; now no-one would dispute the value of MRIs, PET or CAT scans, and their ability to help us understand what is going on in the brain. Most researchers even accept neuroplasticity. My advice is, turn your radio station to classical music, learn to play an instrument, and hang on to your hats–I think we’ve got a wild ride coming in the research.

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