5 November, 2017
Word Count: 884
Does Using Music as a Studying Tool Make Studying More Efficient for Most People?
There have been a number of studies on cognitive functionalities and how stimuli affect the functionalities of the brain. Neuroscientists have an expansive understanding on the functionalities of the brain and as time lapses that expansive understanding grows evermore. Despite this fact, scientists lack an understanding of one thing: why people listen to music while they perform mental tasks. How does the brain process information while there is music in the background? Is music not a distraction? How does music affect the brain? Because of curiosity, many neuroscientists have been conducting experiments that involves music and its effects on the brain (O’Hare). Research performed on this topic claims that music has positive effects on the brain while others claim that music does not have any positive effects and claim that music is merely a distraction. The effects of listening to background music on mental processing is questionable, but according to Anna O’Hare, the author of “The Effect of Vocal and Instrumental Background Music on Primary School on Pupil’s Verbal Memory Using a Sentence Recall Task”, believes that music has positive effects on the brain and certainly heightens enhancement of cognitive functionality in the performance of mental tasks.
O’Hare discusses her reasons why she believes that music has positive effects on the brain. She proceeds to further discuss the idea that music being played in the background further enhances activity in one’s mind (O’Hare). To support her claim, she mentions Frances H. Rauscher and Gordon L. Shaw’s experiment. They conducted the experiment and in the results of their experiment they found that after listening to some compositions of Mozart before performing a mental task, Mozart’s music was able to improve performance in mental tasks (O’Hare). The results of their experiment showed “that playing music in the background can have positive effects on memory recall, particularly spatial memory recall and this is known as the Mozart effect” (O’Hare). Since Rauscher and Shaw performed the experiment, many researchers replicated Rauscher and Shaw’s experiment. One of the researchers named Don Campbell was able to further prove that “listening to Mozart may produce other beneficial effects on mental function” (O’Hare). O’Hare also noted that music positively affects a person's “behavior, emotions, moods”, which influences the performances of mental tasks (O’Hare). On the other hand, not all research claimed that music had positive effects.
O’Hare mentioned an experiment that was conducted by Salame and Baddeley in 1989, where they found that music causes negative effects towards the brain. The results of their experiment showed that when performing tasks with music in the background it disrupts short term memory (O’Hare). Short term memory...