Universiteit van Amsterdam

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Institute for Logic, Language and Computation

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16 february 2006, Collloquium Muziekwetenschap, Glenn Schellenberg

Speaker: Glenn Schellenberg
Title: Does music make you smarter?
Date: Thursday 16 february 2006
Time: 15:30
Location: Universiteitstheater, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16, amsterdam

Music listening and music lessons have been claimed to confer intellectual advantages. Any association between music and intellectual functioning would be notable only if the benefits apply reliably to non-musical abilities and if music is unique in producing the effects. The available evidence indicates that music listening leads to enhanced performance on a variety of cognitive tests, but that such effects are short-term and stem from the impact of music on arousal level and mood, which, in turn, affect cognitive performance; experiences other than music listening have similar effects. Music lessons in childhood tell a different story. They are associated with small but general and long-lasting intellectual benefits that cannot be attributed to obvious confounding variables such as family income and parents' education. Other out-of-school activities do not appear to have similar effects. The mechanisms underlying the association between music lessons and intellectual abilities have yet to be determined.

Glenn Schellenberg is professor of psychology at the Universiteit van Toronto, Canada.

For more information, see http://www.musicology.nl/

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