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ERIC Number: EJ871705
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-0305-7356
A Limiting Feature of the Mozart Effect: Listening Enhances Mental Rotation Abilities in Non-Musicians but Not Musicians
Aheadi, Afshin; Dixon, Peter; Glover, Scott
Psychology of Music, v38 n1 p107-117 2010
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 structures involved in spatial cognition. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A