Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Our Brain on Music: We need to do more than listen

.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 the rest of this entry »

Musical training as mental exercise for cognitive performance

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 Piano musical training 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!
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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 the rest of this entry »

Brain Fitness and other blog carnivals

(Blog carnivals are collections of blog articles around specific topics)

Jane hosts a great edition of the Brain Fitness blog carnival, titled Mind, Matter, Mind Over Matter with great articles on napping, exercise, multi-tasking, and more.

Two other carnivals we enjoyed much were: Tangled Bank and Entrepreneurs. Read the rest of this entry »

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