Researchers Foresee Clinical Applications of the Mozart Effect

From a study by Shaw GL, and Bodner M:

Motivated by predictions from the structured trion model of the cortex, based on Mountcastle’s columnar organizational principle, behavioral experiments have demonstrated a causal short-term enhancement of spatial-temporal reasoning in college students following listening to a Mozart Sonata (K.448) but not in control conditions. An EEG coherence study reported presence of right frontal and left temporoparietal activity induced by listening to the Mozart Sonata, which carried over into the spatial-temporal tasks in three of the seven subjects. In this paper, we present further predictions from the trion model and discuss how the new SYMMETRIC analysis method can be used in EEG recordings to help determine the neurophysiological basis of specific music enhancing spatial-temporal reasoning. We conclude with potential clinical applications of major significance [emphasis added].

Here, Shaw and Bodner tie together the trion model study, the original spatial-temporal reasoning study, and the EEG coherence studies, and propose a new method of analysis to help determine the physiological basis for the neuroplastic changes caused by exposure to Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos, K. 448. Shaw and Bodner seem to be as excited as I am about the possible significance of this kind of analysis, which could lead towards, one day, music as scientifically-accepted medicine: prescribing a specific piece of music to alleviate a physical complaint. We are on the threshold of a new age of medicine, and this is one of the most exciting times in neurophysiology I can remember since MRIs, PET and CAT scans first came out in the 1980s.

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