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Study music – beats for your brain

Posted By Rachel X. Sutton On Dec 3, 2012 @ 10:00 am In Sandbox | Comments Disabled

As the Finals issue features a great article on study-friendly instrumental tracks, we got inspired to  [1]explore the relationship of music and focus a bit further. It’s no surprise that while studying, many students prefer white noise or music to the jarring sound of chairs scraping throughout Moffit. But are there particular types of music that are more conducive to learning or focus? Some research suggests there are.

Studies in music and cognition receiving most media attention are those focused on what many dub the Mozart effect [2]. The term usually refers to several similar theories, all centered on the idea that classical music may aid in temporary or long-term learning enhancement. In one experiment [3], students exposed to classical music showed increased — but temporary — spatial-temporal reasoning ability.

Similarly, gamma waves can describe a specific pattern of neural oscillations — brain waves — at a frequency of around 50 Hz. Researchers such as György Buzsaki [4] have published evidence suggesting that the nature of the frequency of these waves may aid conscious attention through facilitating activity within the thalamus, a brain structure partially involved in alertness and consciousness. While the theory remains in need of further support, we still suggest trying out gamma-wave music therapy for yourself!

Our favorite tracks
We love Youtube tracks (1) Biaural Beats: Study, Focus, Concentrate [5] and (2) High focus – Gamma brainwaves [6] in particular, because they’re repetitive enough to discourage distraction. For those who might prefer classical music, we suggest the (3) Study Music Project [7], also on Youtube. Happy finals prep week!

-R.S. [8]

Image source: Karmalize [9] under Creative Commons.

Article printed from The Daily Clog: http://clog.dailycal.org

URL to article: http://clog.dailycal.org/2012/12/03/study-music-beats-for-your-brain/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/agaylon/184531423/sizes/s/in/photostream/

[2] the Mozart effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozart_effect

[3] experiment: http://www.uwosh.edu/departments/psychology/rauscher/Nature93.pdf

[4] György Buzsaki: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0195301064

[5] Biaural Beats: Study, Focus, Concentrate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rws1FHmQGS0

[6] High focus – Gamma brainwaves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhSAGn8zqR4

[7] Study Music Project: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL957A89BCE798193F

[8] R.S.: https://twitter.com/RachelXSutton

[9] Karmalize: http://www.flickr.com/photos/agaylon/184531423/

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