|Mozart c. 1780, detail from portrait by Johann Nepomuk della Croce. |
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People who heard the classical composer's music showed an increase in brain wave activity linked to memory, understanding and problem-solving, researchers found.
However, no such increases were found after the group listened to Beethoven, suggesting there is something specific about the effect of Mozart's music on our minds, they said.
The researchers, from Sapienza University of Rome, said: “These results may be representative of the fact that Mozart's music is able to 'activate' neuronal cortical circuits (circuits of nerve cells in the brain) related to attentive and cognitive functions.”
The results were “not just a consequence of listening to music in general”, they added.
For the study, which was published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, the researchers used EEG machines to record the electrical activity of the participants' brains.
The group was made up of 10 young healthy adults with an average age of 33, 10 healthy elderly adults with an average age of 85, and 10 elderly people with mild cognitive impairment with an average age of 77.
Source: The Daily Star