The Effect of Different Music Genres on Cognitive Performance.
Background: An area of interest for many researchers has been the associations between music and cognitive performance. Research has indicated that music has an enhancing effect on cognitive function. Many of these investigations have been based upon the “Mozart Effect”, which claims that listening to classical music can enhance learning abilities in comparison to silence. However, while previous research has only broadly investigated the effects of music, what studies lack are the effect of different music genres on cognitive performance. Aims: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of music individuals prefer the most versus the least, and determine whether this enhances or diminishes their capabilities to perform in simple cognitive function tasks after listening to a short period of music. Design: 40 participants were recruited to perform simple cognitive function tasks in three separate interventions: no music, liked music, disliked music. Blood pressure was measured before and after each testing session. After each intervention participants were tested using a Stroop and Corsi test. Thereafter statistical analysis was carried out on the data. Results: Results found that there was a significant difference between music intervention groups (liked music/disliked music) and baseline between Stroop Test Errors and Time (p<0.05). No significance was established between music intervention groups and baseline in the Corsi Block Test scores (p>0.05). Correlations were established between the test scores and age, caffeine intake and playing a musical instrument. Conclusion: The results obtained indicate that music has an enhancing effect on executive function in comparison to baseline (Stroop Test). However, music did not have an impact on visuospatial memory (Corsi Block Test). This could be due to the limited number of older adults in the study. Future studies should look at implementing a similar study design in older adults and patients showing signs of mild cognitive impairment. Key Words: Cognitive function, Memory, Music Listening, Stroop Test, Corsi Test, Blood Pressure