Mozart Promotes EEG Coherence

From a study by Sarnthein J, vonStein A, Rappelsberger P, Petsche H, Rauscher FH, and Shaw GL:

Motivated by predictions from the structured trion model of the cortex, behavioral experiments have demonstrated a causal short-term enhancement of spatial-temporal reasoning in college students following exposure to a Mozart sonata, but not in control conditions. The coherence analysis of electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings is well suited to the neurophysiological investigation of this behavioral enhancement. Here we report the presence of right frontal and left temporo-parietal coherent activity induced by listening to Mozart which carried over into the spatial-temporal tasks [emphasis added] in three of our seven subjects. This carry-over effect was compared to EEG coherence analysis of spatial-temporal-tasks after listening to text. We suggest that these EEG coherence results provide the beginnings of understanding of the neurophysiological basis of the causal enhancement of spatial-temporal reasoning by listening to specific music. The observed long-lasting coherent EEG pattern might be evidence for structured sequences in cortical dynamics which extend over minutes.

If you’ve been following the “Mozart effect” debate, then you’ll know that opinion is sharply divided on whether listening to Mozart produces an effect on spatio-temporal reasoning. However, this and other studies have proven that listening to Mozart increases the coherence of brain waves; this is a fact. And what this means is that your brain waves are more “in synch” with each other, and just like working in a quiet, tidy environment is nicer than working in a distracting, messy environment, your brain functions better when your brain waves are organized. So listening to classical music at a volume level appropriate to normal conversation may help you in task performance.

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