Posts Tagged ‘music’

Short Term Advancements

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Stage: 1

Session number: 6

Average n-back: 6

I’m at the end of my second day and I’ll say, I did not expect such incredible results. In two days my BFI has increased 16%. That’s 16%. There’s been in very noticeable effect on my ability to play piano; concentration, accuracy, and musicality. I also feel much more aware and less depressed than I did previously.

I have to say that I’m not entirely sure if this program increased my intelligence to this level or if it simply renewed my old. Either way. It did a d**n good job of doing what it was intended to do.

I’ll keep updating my progress to see if it continues at this bizarre rate.

MindSparke Brain Training Software

This post was submitted by Andrew Clark.

Music Training as Brain Training

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

In a broad review of research data from around the world, scientists Nina Kraus and Bharath Chandrasekaran from Northwestern University have found consistent evidence that musical training has a strong positive impact on the development brain function, in particular language, speech, memory, and attention. Their report “Music training for the development of auditory skills” was published in the July 20 issue of the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

“The effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness and thus requires society to re-examine the role of music in shaping individual development, ” the report concludes, and advocates for inceased investment in musical training.

Here of some snippets derived from the data the report digests:

  • Musicians, as compared to non-musicians, more adeptly incorporate sound patterns when learning a new language
  • Children with musical training, versus those without, show stronger neural activation to pitch changes in speech and have a better vocabulary and reading ability
  • Musicians display enhanced cognitive and sensory abilities than non-musicians, making them better able to pick up speech in challenging listening environments
  • Music training seems to strengthen the same neural processes that often are deficient in individuals with developmental dyslexia or who have difficulty hearing speech in noise.

As I’ve mentioned before on the blog, the benefits to musical aptitude and appreciation that people find from training with Brain Fitness Pro underscore the strong connection between music and core brain functions.

Brain Training & The Mozart Effect

Thursday, May 27th, 2010
Wolfgang Mozart


A new look at the data on classical music and intellectual performance seems to show that the so-called “Mozart effect” might as well be dubbed the “Motorhead effect.” It intrigued me to see that the review supported the idea that music can stimulate intellectual performance temporarily; according to the Vienna team’s lead researcher Jakob Pietschnig: ‘Those who listened to music, Mozart or something else – Bach, Pearl Jam – had better results than the silent group. But we already knew people perform better if they have a stimulus.’

Hmmm. So those brain training sessions where I took a break to play the piano and came back to score better might not have been coincidences…

The team, from Vienna University, brought together data from about forty studies that have sought to reproduce the ‘Mozart effect.’ As first reported by a team from the University of California in 1993, the original research, first published in Nature, spawned the Baby Mozart’ CD phenomenon. Dr. Pietschnig noted that the original study was carried out on adults and assessed temporary spatial reasoning rather than intelligence.

Pietschning: ‘I recommend everyone listen to Mozart, but it’s not going to improve cognitive abilities as some people hope.’

Ah, but why not?  Since activities that promote attentive changes in the brain do lead to plastic change why is it not possible for music to lead to permanent changes over time?Recent parallel studies indicate that musical training leads to improvements in intellectual ability. I’d say it’s quite likely that listening to music frequently could have a positive intellectual impact. (It’s also a highly enjoyable activity.)

A question for Martin, Shaun, Will and anyone else who’s done the training for a while

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Hey guys,

I’ve had a look around in the improvements section of the blog but I couldn’t really find any posts on the topic so i figured i’d just ask.

I was wondering how you feel the training has affected your day-to-day life and what improvements you’ve noticed. At the moment I’m feeling quite good in general. I would almost say that I feel more rational than usual, and I find it easier when I have problems to disassociate myself from my emotions and look at it more objectively.

Also, I am a musician, and I’m finding that the things that I’ve been working on in my practice have been coming together recently at a much faster rate than usual. It may just be that I’ve been working on these things for long enough now that they’re showing up anyway, but perhaps the working memory training helps conversion to long term memory as well?

Anyway, I’m just interested in your experiences. Personally, I’m not too fussed about what number I get on an IQ test, I’m interested in being as successful as possible, especially as I work in an industry that has a lot more people looking for work than there are jobs.



Trained Musicians Think Differently

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

A new study by Vanderbilt University psychologists shows that professionally trained musicians more effectively use a creative technique called divergent thinking, and also use both the left and the right sides of their frontal cortex more heavily than the average person.

I found this study particularly interesting. I happened to read about it a couple of days after hearing from a Brain Fitness Pro customer that he’d found the training really helped his guitar playing. I’d found the same thing with my piano playing.

I’d attributed this effect to the increased power I had to hold in my mind what I was playing at the same time as what I would be playing next. But I now wonder whether the enhanced musicianship might not also have something to do with the way the software trains both the aural and visual senses in a multi-tasking quantitative mental task…