New study suggests non-lyrical music is best for cognitive function and productivity
The notion that music generally enhances cognitive function and productivity is not news to most. But fewer are aware of just how music impacts cognition, or merely its ability to stimulate both the left and right sides of the brain.
Carol A. Smith and Larry W. Morris of Middle Tennessee State University recently conducted a study on music’s effects on the brain, finding that students who listened to their preferred genre of lyrical music during test taking did not score as highly as students who listened to “sedative” music. Lyrics, particularly those of a familiar and preferred song, are typically distracting as they can incite certain emotions and memories. The direct impact of lyrics shifts from one individual to another, however, posing the greatest threat on introverts according to a 1997 study conducted by Anna Bradley and Adrian Furnham of University College London.
Iman Ghosh, a freshman at Knox College, agrees: “I listen to electronic music like techno, sometimes [I listen to] dubstep, but I only listen to music that is without words and singing, because if there’s words and singing I can’t concentrate.”
Lyrics aside, music can also play a role in cognitive function based on its tone. In 2002, a group of children between the ages of seven and ten were exposed to soothing music as they took a series of arithmetic and memory tests. They then took a second round of tests while listening to aggressive music, and concluded with a final round in complete silence. The study ultimately discovered that students performed the best when listening to more serene music, although it failed to consider personality types and ways in which they may have affected students’ scores.
Via: The Knox Student