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Music Intelligence Roundup

May 28, 2010

Can listening to Mozart really make you smarter?


Does Mozart boost IQ? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Over fifteen years ago, researchers reported that college students who listened to Mozart music did better in a particular type of mental test. What followed was Mozart Mania, with people playing Mozart for their teens, their toddlers—even their fetuses. But a new study this week from scientists at the University of Vienna looked at follow up studies with thousands of subjects, and concluded that there is no Mozart Effect. Nonetheless, the researchers say you might want to listen to it anyway, just because it’s so lovely.

In other musical news, researchers at Boston University School of Medicine report that patients with Alzheimer’s Disease are much better at remembering song lyrics that are sung rather than spoken, while healthy older adults showed no such difference. The scientists say that understanding how music helps Alzheimer’s patients form memories could lead to new therapies. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.