Scott Glover, RHUL
Effects of music listening on spatial cognition: Melodic complexity versus periodicity
Research into the so-called “Mozart Effect” has been controversial. Whereas some studies have shown that passive listening to Mozart can lead to short-term benefits in spatial
cognitive abilities, others have reported null results. Using the Hemispheric Activation Hypothesis of music’s effects on cognition, we were able to establish that the Mozart Effect
is in fact real, but with limitations. My more recent explorations have examined whether the effects of listening relate to melodic complexity, periodicity (i.e., repetitiveness), or exposure
time. Preliminary results suggest that all three of these factors can contribute to the effectiveness of passive music listening in improving spatial cognition. This work has
exciting implications for using music to promote short-term enhancement of cognitive abilities, and for cognitive priming in general.