Abstract: Researchers have designed training methods that can be used to improve mental health and to test the efficacy of education programs. However, few studies have demonstrated broad transfer from such training to performance on untrained cognitive activities. Here we report the effects of two interactive computerized training programs developed for preschool children: one for music and one for visual art. After only 20 days of training, [Read more…] about Study: Music Training Can Enhance Verbal Intelligence and Executive Function
Musicians’ brains are often used as models of neuroplasticity. Indeed, numerous studies to date have shown that musical training can change the brain. Musicians have larger brain volume in areas that are important for playing an instrument: motor, auditory and visuo-spatial regions.
A recent Nature Review Neuroscience article shows that music training can benefit the brain beyond music. Specifically, musicians may have an advantage for processing speech in challenging listening environments compared with non-musicians [Read more…] about Music: Another Pillar of Brain Fitness?
We recently published an article examining the “Mozart effect” and the conclusions were that there is very little evidence that listening to music does boost mental functions. However learning to play an instrument does seem to do the trick.
In this recent Scientific American article, the editors point out that: [Read more…] about Do we need more music education?
.What’s The Size Of The Mozart Effect? The Jury Is In.
In a now well-known 1993 paper in Nature called “Music and spatial task performance”, Frances H. Rauscher and her colleagues report that participants who were exposed to the first movement “allegro con spirito” of the Mozart Sonata KV 448 for Two Pianos in D major scored significantly higher on standardized tests of abstract/spatial reasoning ability than those who were instructed to relax or those who just sat there in silence.
Even though the participants in Rauscher et al.‘s study were college students, and they didn’t administer a full battery of cognitive tests to properly assess general intelligence, their findings translated into “play Mozart to your children and they will grow up smart.” A cottage industry was born. [Read more…] about Our Brain on Music: We need to do more than listen
Our January Newsletter received a good deal of feedback from many readers. Based on it, our new approach is to select the top 10 most important articles every other week. Please take a look at this first experiment, and let us know you feedback.
(Also, remember that you can subscribe to receive our blog RSS feed, or to our monthly newsletter at the top of this page if you want to receive this newsletter by email).
News and Events
Stress Management is Key Factor For Cognitive Fitness: a great cover story in US News & World Report, and an excellent article in Prevention Magazine that was highlighted on the Today Show this week, both feature the importance of [Read more…] about Brain Fitness Newsletter: mid-February Edition
We often hear (gladly!) how teachers use our blog articles and brain teasers in their classes. We also hear how many psychology and biology teachers are getting their students excited about brain research, and, to contribute to their efforts, we like to recognize some great initiatives.
Last year, Jeffrey Gonce, a Psychology teacher at Red Land High School (West Shore School District, PA) asked his students to “complete a project describing a recent brain (or genetic) study that affects behavior.” The students could opt to post their articles online, and Jeffrey was kind enough to send us a link to read the results. We enjoyed reading them all, and published in our blog this beautiful essay, titled “Tis better to give than receive”, written by Alexandra, which was subsequently included in a number of neuroscience an psychology blogs.
This year, Jeffrey also sent us his students’ essays, and we are going to recognize and publish this great essay by high school student Megan. Enjoy!
It has long been the source of scientific debate as to whether music can improve the cognitive processes in children. Referred to by some as “The Mozart Effect,” a strong [Read more…] about Musical training as mental exercise for cognitive performance