The Mozart Effect

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The Mozart Effect is a claim stating that listening to Mozart's music may effect children's mental development by "making them smarter" or enhance people's intelligence and spatial reasoning. This has been a much disputed claim since it has been made. In Nature, it is explained that investigators randomly gave standard tests in relation to spatial reasoning after subjects either listened to Mozart, relaxing music, or silence. They found an enhancement in those who listened to Mozart, however all they have shown is that there is a pattern in neuron firing sequences. In addition, there were no long-term effects which could lead to an assumption of increased intelligence. After this hint of a possible intelligence booster was made public, the popularity skyrocketed.
Today, many expecting parents play classical music (especially Mozart) to their pregnant bellies. In the Washington Times, Brighid Moret discusses "Babies and Music". While playing classical music has had proven effects on short term memory, no long-term effects have been proven. Thus, Moret claims any type of music played to babies can improve their musical abilities. Musical abilities can later lead to improvement in hand-eye coordination and creativity.
This finding is important because while it agrees with the current Mozart Effect beliefs, some expecting parents may still believe their babies will be overall more intelligent with the aid of classical music. Although there could easily be a third factor in Moret's findings, parents may not be wasting their time by falling for the Mozart Effect. If children's creativity and coordination may improve due to exposure to music, they will be seen as better candidates for activities and indirectly judged as smarter.
While the initial Mozart Effect is proven false for long-term intelligent enhancement, these findings may not be far off.

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Do you think that Moret extends her findings beyond what the research she cites supports? Have there been general increases in intelligence as the result of listening to music or just playing music? Have the studies been controlled?

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This page contains a single entry by slawh003 published on November 6, 2011 6:30 PM.

Do Twins Have Their Own Language? was the previous entry in this blog.

The Mozart Effect is the next entry in this blog.

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