The Mozart Effect

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Have you ever hear the old saying “Mozart makes babies smarter”? Can a mother simply playing Mozart while the infant sleeps actually increase her baby’s brain function? Well there is now evidence that this once perceived ‘old wives tale’ is actually true. The studies done to prove this seemingly bizarre event have deemed it, The Mozart Effect.
The Mozart Effect is a set of research results that indicate that listening to Mozart's music may induce a short-term improvement on the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks known as “spatial-temporal reasoning”. Spatial-temporal reasoning is the ability to visualize mental pictures of spatial patterns and mentally changing them over a time-ordered sequence of spatial transformations. This
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Other researchers were unable to reproduce the findings but others confirmed the theory that listening to Mozart's sonata K448 produced a small increase in spatial-temporal performance. These improvements were measured by various tests derived from the Stanford—Binet scale such as paper-cutting and folding procedures or pencil-and-paper maze tasks. Rauscher has stressed that the Mozart effect is only limited to spatial temporal reasoning and that there is no enhancement of general intelligence; some of the negative results, she thinks, could be attributed to inappropriate test procedures (Jenkins). Many have criticized these positive findings in saying that these effects are due to the ‘enjoyment arousal’ and that these same findings would not be present if the subject had no appreciation for classical music. These opinions of the effect are countered by a study done on rats by the University of Wisconsin in 1998. Rats were exposed in utero plus 60 days post-partum to either complex music (Mozart Sonata (k. 448)), minimalist music (a Philip Glass composition), white noise or silence, and were then tested for five days in a multiple T-maze. By Day 3, the rats exposed to the Mozart work completed the maze more rapidly and with fewer errors than the rats assigned to the other groups. The difference increased in magnitude through Day 5. This suggests that repeated exposure to complex music induces improved spatial-temporal learning in rats,
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