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The Mozart Effect: Music Exercises the Brain

By Dennis A. Colucci, AuD, MA

 

 

Human brains are predisposed by design to the information processing elicited by music. (Roederer JG. The Physics and Psychophysics of Music. New York, NY: Springer; 2008.)

 

Music, through its complex spectral and temporal patterns and activities, helps wire the brain and bind the senses, af- fecting our perceptual experience (Nat Rev Neurosci 2010;11[8]:599-605). We know that music training can change the brain’s anatomical structures, as demonstrated in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of musicians (Ann N Y Acad Sci 2012;1252:116-123).

 

Music also elicits endorphins, soothing the limbic system and making us feel good. As rapper Ludacris recently said, “When music is good, you lose yourself in the moment….” Most importantly, music creates higher-level cortical excitation, requiring information management that exercises the brain and leads to learning.

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