Suda, M., Morimoto, K., Obata, A., Koizumi, H., & Maki, A. (2008). Cortical responses to Mozart's Sonata Enhance Spatial-Reasoning Ability. Neurological Research, 30(9), 885-888.
Reflection: The ‘Mozart Makes You Smarter’ has been studied and debated among researchers, but it has not been made clear why Mozart’s music has the specific effect. In the previous studies that used Mozart’s music versus silence showed similar result of higher score in Mozart’s group. My assumption then was that the stabilizing effect of listening to the predictable harmonic patterns of the classical music affected the score. Also, seating in silence for certain amount of time before the test could increase anxiety, which would not help the test result. However, this study was particularly interesting that they used Beethoven’s Fur Elise, which could be more familiar to the participants. The result was rather shocking to me that Beethoven’s music had almost the same result with the silence. Both Beethoven’s and Mozart’s music were from the same period and used same instrumentation. If it is not the familiarity or the predictable pattern, it makes me curious what could be the other factor behind this Mozart’s effect. I will be interested in reading more about the studies that used different music, especially if there is one that used Mozart’s Sonata K.448 versus his other compositions.