How Music Genres Affect Cognitive Ability?

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How Music Genres Affect Cognitive Ability?

Postby SydneyJabs » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:14 pm

Ok, so my topic is which genre of music best benefits cognitive ability. So, the genres I am using will be:
-no music
-classical
-rock
-heavy metal
-rap
'-smooth jazz
-pop
-electonic
-reggae

So, my question is, do math time tests connect with cognitive ability, or is cognitive ability something else? If you can link printable cognitive ability worksheets, I would really appreciate it!:D

Also, I think my title will be "Mental Notes", but I'm open for other cute names:)

Any other ideas that would make my project better?

Thanks,
Sydney :wink:
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Project Question: What genre of music best benefits mathematical ability?
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Re: How Music Genres Affect Cognitive Ability?

Postby donnahardy2 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:14 am

Hi Sydney,

Welcome to Science Buddies! Your project idea is a really good one, but it will also be very challenging. I really like the title you have selected.

A good science fair project has an experiment with measurable results. How are you going to measure your results? Here is a Science Buddies project idea that describes an experiment that is similar to what you are thinking about doing, but doesn’t include all of the types of music you are considering. This will be difficult enough if you are working with volunteers.

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p022.shtml

If you want to investigate cognitive ability, here is a project idea that uses visual search experiments to investigate cognitive ability:

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p032.shtml

Both of the above projects include references for background reading.

Cognition is the ability of the brain to perform different tasks. If you do a Google search for “cognitive ability” or “test for cognitive ability,” you will find other sources of background information about your topic. Perhaps you will want to design your own unique experiment.

Since you will be working with human volunteers, please read the information from the Science Buddies website on doing projects with humans. You will need to get approval from your teacher and perhaps from the local scientific review committee before doing this project and you will need a signed consent form from each volunteer. This process is not difficult, but it will take some time, and is essential when doing an experiment for a science fair.

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... ects.shtml

Good luck to you. Let us know if you have any questions.


Donna Hardy
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Re: How Music Genres Affect Cognitive Ability?

Postby Megara7 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:56 pm

What you're trying to do is conduct a psychological experiment, and there are a couple ways you can collect data. You could collect observations about what happened in your experiment, or you could find the amount of problems that your volunteers could do. I think that you should use quite a few volunteers because that way when you average the data you won't have any crazy outliers because of some other variable.

I WOULD NOT USE MATH PROBLEMS! The reason is that because what you're really trying to test is the brains ability to multitask. (see this link http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/201103/technology-myth-multitasking) The only way that the brain can multitask is if you are using different parts of the brain, so in your experiment, you would need to use two different parts of the brain. Math is processed in the left frontal lobe (your brain is split down the middle, so you have a left and right brain (they're connected by something called the corpus callosum) ) and music is processed in the temporal lobes (even more specifically, the auditory cortex). But, words with lyrics are processed in the language centers which you use while reading, so I would give them a passage to read in about one minute while music is playing and if they have lyrics, your experiment will show what happens when people try to multitask while using the same parts of the brain.

If you have any other questions, message me on this site or post them here. (I just finished this unit in my AP Psychology class, so I'll try to help to the extent of my abilities).
Here are some diagrams to help you understand what I posted above if you need them:
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Above: the orange and the yellow are the language center.
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Re: How Music Genres Affect Cognitive Ability?

Postby SydneyJabs » Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:32 pm

music is processed in the temporal lobes (even more specifically, the auditory cortex). But, words with lyrics are processed in the language centers which you use while reading, so I would give them a passage to read in about one minute while music is playing and if they have lyrics, your experiment will show what happens when people try to multitask while using the same parts of the brain.

Hi Megara7! Thanks for your answer! :D

So, you mentioned having my group read passages? How would I measure their ability to understand it? Just have a small quiz over what they just read?

And, where are the language centers of the brain located?
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Project Question: What genre of music best benefits mathematical ability?
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Re: How Music Genres Affect Cognitive Ability?

Postby Megara7 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:02 pm

Hi Sydney,

I'm sorry that I didn't check back earlier, but the language centers of the brain aren't in one general area. There are 3 centers, Wernike's area, Broca's area and the angular gyrus. What you want to look into is the angular gyrus and Wernike's area. The angular gyrus creates that voice in your head whenever you read anything, and the Wernike's area allows you to understand words that are you hear. Broca's area is what shapes the turns on and of the muscles that make you speak, and therefore it's located in part of the motor (motion) cortex. The motor cortex is the 'farthest back' layer of the frontal lobe.(See the 1st picture)

Wernike's area is located right in between the temporal and parietal lobes (see the 2nd picture), and this makes sense because the temporal lobe is where the auditory cortex is and where most sounds get processed and the Wernike's area receives the sounds that are words. The parietal lobe helps us perceive things about the 'data' or stimuli that is sent to our brain. Perceiving is different than the sensation of a stimulus (anything that happens in the environment around you (for example when you touch a rug, your body receives the stimulus and experiences the sensation (or feeling) of touching a rug, but what your brain does is that it perceives that you are touching a rug). Perception is the interpretation of sensations that are sent to your brain. So, the sensation is when you touch (or see, hear, taste, or smell) _________ and you're like oh! That's ___________! Since Wernike's area interprets auditory information, its location between the parietal and temporal lobes makes sense. The reason why there can be things in between the lobes is because the lobes are separated by things called fissures which are just spaces, and some parts of them can be filled.

The angular gyrus is located in the parietal lobe (see picture 3 & 4), and that's because it interprets random letters that you see on a piece of paper into words and the little voice in your hear when you try to read. In case you wanted to know, because the angular gyrus interprets what you see, it works with the visual cortex which is at the very back of the occipital lobe of the brain (see picture 5).

And, about the group's reading of passages, I do think you should give them a small simple quiz on things with answers that could be found in the reading, because everyone gets analytical or "thinking in-between-the-lines" questions wrong because we all perceive what we read differently. So, you would be measuring their ability to comprehend what they have read.

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(The brain is pictured on the other side compared to the other pictures)
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Let me know if you have any more questions, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible!

Megara7
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Re: How Music Genres Affect Cognitive Ability?

Postby heatherL » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:36 pm

Hi Sydney,

Donna and Megara7 have already given you some fabulous advice and background information.

I just wanted to suggest that you may have too many different genres of music. While it's good to look at everything you can, it may be difficult to interpret the data with so many categories for your independent variable (the type of music). I would suggest trying to narrow it down to 3 music genres, plus no music (as your control). The reason is that using fewer music genres will allow you to include more people in each treatment, which will make it easier to detect differences using statistics. (The scientific way of saying this is that you will increase your sample size.)

I admire your ambition, though! :wink:

Please continue to post if you have further questions.

Heather
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Re: How Music Genres Affect Cognitive Ability?

Postby Megara7 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:53 pm

Hi Sydney,
I just wanted to let you know that I'll be in the forums every Sunday, and I'll try to check in and see if you have any more questions if I get notified.
-Meg
“Nobody important? Blimey, that’s amazing. You know that in nine hundred years of time and space and I’ve never met anybody who wasn’t important before.”
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Re: How Music Genres Affect Cognitive Ability?

Postby SydneyJabs » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:10 am

Hi again Megara!

Ok, so, my only problem with doing passages is that I dont know where I can find passages of equal difficulty. Any suggestions? And, if needed, could I work with memory instead? And if so, what pert of the brain is that associated with? Would I be able to find research that could eventually back up my data? And I probably will limit my genres down to 4. So what four genres (no music counts as one) do you think would yield the best/ most differentiated results? I was thinking no music, classical, heavy metal, and electronic? Thanks!:)
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Re: How Music Genres Affect Cognitive Ability?

Postby tznunu » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:01 pm

Hi Sydney,

It looks like the other Experts have provided great answers to your questions!

If you would like to find passages with similar difficulties, I would suggest taking some from the English/Language Arts sections of standardized tests, such as the STAR tests or the SAT. That way, you can also know exactly what grade level the passage is designed for. Here is a link to the released California Standards Test questions: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/css05rtq.asp.

You could definitely try testing memory too. Many parts of the brain are associated with memory; the most important areas are the hippocampus, which processes memories, and the cerebrum (especially the right hemisphere), which store memories. Since music is processed in the left hemisphere, it would be interesting to see how the brain multitasks by using its right hemisphere for memory.

Below are some research experiments at various universities that may help:
~Missouri Western State University: http://clearinghouse.missouriwestern.ed ... ts/230.php
~University of California, Davis: http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news ... so?id=9008

Your four genre choices are great! Maybe you could replace electronic with rap, to see how music containing words may produce a different effect.

I hope that helped! And feel free to ask any other questions you may have.

-Tiffany
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Re: How Music Genres Affect Cognitive Ability?

Postby heatherL » Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:38 pm

Hi Sydney,

Tiffany has given you some great information and advice. I agree that it might be good to replace the electronic music genre with something that has words. Pop may be another good choice, because people might react differently to songs that are very familiar to them.

Good luck and keep us posted with your progress!

Heather
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Re: How Music Genres Affect Cognitive Ability?

Postby Megara7 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:46 pm

Hi Sydney,
I have to kindly disagree with Tiffany because I found that music was thought to be processed in the right hemisphere, but now it's thought to be in both (see this link http://www.psych.ndsu.nodak.edu/nawrot/Courses/465Projects11/Music/Hemisphere.htm). So, using memory to test the communication of the corpus callosum (the thing that connects both hemispheres) wouldn't really work. Also, the cerebrum is the main part of your brain which is made of grey matter (see the 1st picture), and it contains association areas. These association areas are where memories are stored, and they are therefore rightly named. They are the parts of the brain that recall memories when you are reminded of them. I also could not find anything on memories being stored mostly in the right hemisphere, but the right hemisphere is the more creative of the two, so that might have something to do with it. Also, the hippocampus is essential in memory formation (see the 2nd picture).

So, if you also want to test the effects of multitasking on memory, go for it! There are loads of studies out there on the effect multitasking has on memory, especially with music. I do agree with the other experts in saying that you should use music with lyrics so you can actually have their brains multitasking, but if you want you could use the music without lyrics as (separate) control groups in addition to a group reading without the music. Because of that I think you should use no music, classical, pop, and heavy metal.

I would use passages from a 7th grade state test, and they come along with some nice questions, but don't use them if they're analytical because not everyone's good at that, and it would be a source of error in your test scores.

Here's a link to a page with past tests on it from my state:
http://www.nysedregents.org/Grade7/EnglishLanguageArts/home.html

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“Nobody important? Blimey, that’s amazing. You know that in nine hundred years of time and space and I’ve never met anybody who wasn’t important before.”
— The Eleventh Doctor
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Re: How Music Genres Affect Cognitive Ability?

Postby Megara7 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:37 am

Hi Sydney,
If there's anything you don't understand about what I posted, please message me through Science Buddies, or post your questions here (I'll see them because I'm following the post). I hope your project is going well!

-Meg
“Nobody important? Blimey, that’s amazing. You know that in nine hundred years of time and space and I’ve never met anybody who wasn’t important before.”
— The Eleventh Doctor
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