Uplifting music can boost mental capacity
Do you listen to music while you work? While it may seem like it can be distracting, new research indicates that it may be better for you than you realize. A study from Northumbria University in the U.K. has found that uplifting music can, in fact, help boost mental capacity.
In the study, a group of 14 young adults were given a concentration task to perform, which involved pressing the space bar on a keyboard whenever a green square appeared on the screen, but ignoring other colors and shapes. The participants' brains were hooked up to an EEG machine while performing the task. The researchers also played music from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons during the experiment, and they discovered that the participants responded correctly more quickly while listening to the the uplifting “Spring” concerto.
During the slower, more somber “Autumn” music, reaction times were the slowest. The “Spring” concerto seemed to enhance the part of the brain linked to emotional responsiveness--evoking positive, contented feelings which could be translated into higher levels of cognitive functioning, according to the researchers.
The scientists also said that key in which the music was written had no impact on brain performance. Both the “Spring” concerto and the “Autumn” movement are written in a major key.