posted on Feb, 28 2010 @ 12:36 PM
By: ROYAL HOLLOWAY UNIVERSITY OF LONDON.
A limiting feature of the Mozart effect: listening enhances mental rotation abilities in non-musicians but not musicians.
The ‘Mozart effect’ occurs when performance on spatial cognitive tasks improves following exposure to Mozart. It is hypothesized that the Mozart
effect arises because listening to complex music activates similar regions of the right cerebral hemisphere as are involved in spatial cognition. A
counter-intuitive prediction of this hypothesis (and one that may explain at least some of the null results reported previously) is that Mozart should
only improve spatial cognition in non-musicians, who process melodic information exclusively in the right hemisphere, but not in musicians, who
process melodic information in both hemispheres. This hypothesis was tested by comparing performance of musicians and non-musicians on a mental
rotation task before and after exposure to either Mozart or silence. It was found that performance on the mental rotation task improved only in
non-musicians after listening to Mozart. Performance did not improve for non-musicians after exposure to silence, or for musicians after exposure to
either Mozart or silence.
These results support the hypothesis that the benefits of listening to Mozart arise because of activation of right hemispheric
involved in spatial cognition.
[edit on 28-2-2010 by hawk123]