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  • Parents want what's best for their kids.

  • They want them to grow up to be smart, kind, productive peopleand they'll do almost

  • anything to give their little bundle of joy a competitive advantage.

  • Which has led to the strange explosion of the myth that playing classical music for

  • babies might make them more intelligent.

  • You can buy all kinds ofclassical music for babiesprograms that supposedly, quote,

  • promote brain development.”

  • But there's no real evidence that they will actually make your baby smarter.

  • The idea began with a paper published in Nature in 1993, called Music and Spatial Task Performance.

  • Researchers told 36 college students to listen to either a Mozart sonata, a relaxation tape

  • designed to lower blood pressure, or just plain old silence.

  • Then, they were asked some questions designed to test spatial reasoningfor example,

  • what kind of snowflake a cut-up piece of paper would look like when they opened it up.

  • The study found that the students' average spatial IQ scores were 8 to 9 points higher

  • after listening to music, but the effect only lasted about 15 minutes.

  • But even though the study was tiny, they only included college students, and found a very

  • specific effect that didn't last very long, the idea was out there: music could affect

  • the way people think.

  • From there, it snowballed: articles about the study started to generalize the results,

  • saying that music made people smarter in general.

  • Books like The Mozart Effect, and then The Mozart Effect For Children, helped spread

  • the misconception.

  • More researchers started to study the connection between music and intelligence.

  • Some studies confirmed the outcome of the original study, but other researchers couldn't

  • reproduce the findings.

  • Meta-analyses that compared results across all the studies found only a very small effect,

  • if any at all.

  • It's possible that music causes a slight boost in spatial reasoning because music and

  • solving those kinds of puzzles both activate similar parts of your brain.

  • So maybe the music is preparing those parts of your brain in some way, like an athlete

  • warming up before a workout.

  • But even if music helps you solve spatial puzzles, that doesn't mean it makes you

  • smarter overall.

  • The Mozart Effect does seem to help epileptic patients, though.

  • In a few small studies, listening to Mozart's music made seizures decrease.

  • But as with many things in science, more research is needed.

  • So, playing a bit of Bach or Mozart for your baby isn't going to do any harm.

  • But it won't just, like, magically make them smarter.

  • Things like good old fashioned talking and reading to your child are much more important

  • for their development.

  • And speaking of babies, if you're one of the people who watches every single episode of SciShow

  • as it comes out. And if you're watching this right now as it comes out.

  • Thank you very much, first of all, for being one of those people.

  • But secondly...

  • You may be seeing a little less of me because I'm going on paternity leave soon.

  • We've pre-taped a bunch of stuff. Thanks to our writers and our production staff for working hard to get all that done.

  • But I will be out of the office for a while playing punk rock albums and John Scalzi audiobooks for my baby,

  • so that it will be super smart.

  • By which I mean, that I'll be playing those things for myself. Because I will need distractions from my sleeplessness.

  • I will miss you all! But I will be enjoying the break.

  • Thank you for your support of SciShow, and as always, if you want to keep getting smarter with us,

  • go to youtube.com/scishow and subscribe.

Parents want what's best for their kids.

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Does Music Really Make Babies Smarter?

  • 13 2
    joey joey に公開 2021 年 05 月 13 日
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