Music and Intelligence
Note: This was originally an item in the
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Can music help you think better? Yes, and after telling you
about some of the research into long-term effects, I'll let you
in on a faster way to boost your brain power with music.
Listening to, and participating in music creates new neural
pathways in your brain that stimulate creativity. Research shows
that music actually trains the brain for higher forms of thinking.
Years ago there was an article in a Newsweek (2/19/96) about
this. They reported on a study from the University of California.
Researchers followed the progress of three-year-olds, split
into two groups. One group had no particular training in or exposure
to music. The other studied piano and sang daily in chorus. After
eight months the musical three-year-olds were much better at
solving puzzles. When tested, they also scored 80% higher in
spatial intelligence than the non-musical group. That's quite
a difference isn't it?
What Type of Music?
In a study done at UC Irvine's Center for Neurobiology of
Learning and Memory, 36 students were given three spatial reasoning
tests on a standard IQ test.
Before the first test, they listened to Mozart's sonata for
Two Pianos in D Major, K. 448 for ten minutes.
For the second test, they listened to a relaxation tape.
Before the third, they sat in silence.
Here are the average scores for all 36 students: 1st test:
119. 2nd test: 111. 3rd test: 110.
An average increase of 9 points by listening to Mozart. It
is assumed that their actual intelligence didn't increase, but
that the music put them in a state that gave them better access
to the resources of their brains. Interestingly, though, other
studies do show that repeated exposure to slow music can permanently
increase you IQ. Get out the Mozart!
Guaranteed Brain Boosting Music CDs
Check out the new brain wave entrainment technologies. Brain
wave frequencies vary according to the state you are in. Daydreaming
and meditation usually take place in the "Alpha" range
of frequencies, for example.
So if you listen to music containing beats at a frequency
of 10 Hz it will feel very relaxing, because your brain will
begin to follow this frequency and reproduce the rhythm in the
music. You will automatically generate more brain waves at a
10 Hz frequency and enter a relaxed Alpha mental state.
Not all brain wave entrainment CDs use music. Some use the
raw "binaural beats" as they are called, embedded in
white noise, or in sounds of nature. One of the least expensive
sources of quality brain wave entrainment CDs I've found, is
a company called Binaural Beats. They have CDs for relaxing,
focusing, creativity and more (different frequencies for different
purposes). For more information, visit: Binaural
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