Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What do Mozart, Beethoven and Steve Vai have in common?

Music and, it appears, a positive influence on brain function. Predictably, after all the hype about the Mozart Effect from a few years ago, some researchers wanted to see if the effect could be replicated with rock music. So, they ran a study comparing the problem solving efficiencies of students while listening to silence, Beethoven, and Steve Vai (for those who haven't had the good fortune to come across him, he is an incredibly talented instrumental rock guitarist).

Here is a quote from Dr Leigh Riby, who, along with George Caldwell (both cognitive psychologists at Glasgow Caledonian University) performed the study:
What we found was surprising. While classical music appears to have an effect on everybody, we also found that there is a significant effect on people exposed to their favourite type of music.
The study results were published in the current edition of Consciousness and Cognition, the science journal. You can read a newspaper write-up here.

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