Beats for Better Health -- Research Summary
THE "MOZART EFFECT": Frances Rauscher researched whether or not music had any effect on people’s spatio-temporal reasoning abilities by having groups listen to 10 minutes of Mozart’s "Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major" and then having them complete a paper folding task. The results showed that listening to the music increased scores by 48% compared to control groups, but the effects lasted only about 10 minutes and music not as highly structured as Mozart’s did not have the same effects. This was deemed the "Mozart Effect" and demonstrated how music and sound can affect intelligence as well as other things in humans, positively and negatively.
MUSIC & HEALTH: Music has also shown to have an effect on people’s health in several different ways. For one, music can help in recovery. Melodic intonation therapy, which is speaking in a strongly musical manner, has shown to promote recovery from aphasia in stroke patients who had failed to recover spontaneously after a prolonged period, and the same Mozart song used in Rauscher’s research proved to reduce seizures in epileptic patients by 65% compared to silence. It can also reduce depression symptoms in home-bound elderly people as well as reduce post-surgical stress and pain. (Source: www.rmhiherbal.org)
RELATIONSHIP TO SOUND: Humans have a complex relationship to sound. Some facts about how music plays a role in people’s lives are outlined below:
Ancient flutes, one presumed to be the oldest musical instrument in the world, furthers the argument that music ability and interest were present even very early on in human history.
Scientists have found that music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function.
Fetuses begin to develop their auditory system between 17 and 19 weeks, and thanks to the scientist Sheila Woodward in the 1990s we know that not only can be heard inside the womb but fetuses heart rates become slightly elevated, showing a reaction and that they can actually hear the music.
Other studies have also found that when a pregnant women listens to music, even through headphones, the fetus can echo the mother’s response to the quality of music. Their heart rates lower when the mother’s listening to music she finds relaxing and increases when the mother listens to something she finds stressful. (Source: www.npr.org)