Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Does music make you smarter?

The next few weeks there will be no new entries in this blog. However, I hope to see some of you on 19 January 2011 [N.B. Cancelled due to illness] when Glenn Schellenberg will give a lecture at the Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam (CSCA) of the University of Amsterdam with the title Does music make you smarter? Schellenberg will show that 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. However, 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. The mechanisms underlying this association have yet to be determined. Other controversial issues include the direction of causation, and the reason why "real musicians" often fail to exhibit enhanced performance on measures of intelligence.

See here for more information on the lecture and location.

ResearchBlogging.orgSCHELLENBERG, E., & PERETZ, I. (2008). Music, language and cognition: unresolved issues Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12 (2), 45-46 DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2007.11.005


  1. I was wondering if this means that given this theory people, who are born deaf, therefore by definition have an disadvantage in live. Or if there are other experiences that can have a similar advantageous effect? Like signing for example?

  2. Seems like a good question to ask on January 19th!

  3. Great, looking forward to the lecture!

  4. looking forward to the lecture!