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VideoDoes Music Help You Focus?

Does Music Help You Focus?

Should you listen to music while you study? John Legend and cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Sahar Yousef have a definitive answer.

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(gentle music) I'm focused, y'all. Ooh ooh! (wooden blocks rattle) (John laughs) I'm John Legend, chief music officer at Headspace, and I'm hosting a new series about the different ways that music can improve our lives. (uplifting classical music) The philosopher Kant called music a quickening art, because it can bring things to life. It can make a memory, it can change your mood. It has more power to stimulate the brain than anything else. But can music help me focus? To find out more, we met up with cognitive neuroscientist, Dr. Sahar Yousef. Alright, so you're ready? I'm ready. What is this? Okay, so this first one is gonna be a test of sustained attention. In order to better understand the relationship between focus and music, what we did was actually test John's ability to sustain attention using a psychometric test. In this particular assessment, you're gonna see a bunch of numbers hitting the very center of the screen. Okay. And you're gonna wanna click as fast as you can in response to every single digit that you see, unless it's a five. So click for every number except five. Exactly. It can get tricky. It's making sure I pay attention. Alright, best of luck. Thank you. This test is short, but it's a tried and true test of sustained attention. Now, we had John practice this test yesterday while he was listening to a piece of classical music. Now, as we continued into the next day, we had John take the exact same test, but this time with no music at all. Complete silence, no headphones. We had him do this one other time, and this time listening to the exact same track as he was listening to on the first day. Now, what was interesting is that John actually performed the best on the last possible test, where he was listening to the same classical music as he was the first day. You did it? 84%. Alright, look at that! Much better! You did it. I want to talk about why that was. The power of music. I'm curious to know have you ever heard of this term, the Mozart effect? Yes, I remember hearing. You've heard of this? Yes. Okay, so what do you remember about this, the particular effect? Well, people say that if you listen to Mozart and other classical music, you focus better, your brain develops better. So you've heard about this? I've heard all about that. You've been impacted by the Mozart effect. Okay, so I'm gonna give you, unfortunately we're gonna do some- Are we're gonna debunk it? We're myth-busting here. We're in the business of myth-busting. Alright. But unfortunately the Mozart effect is not real. You can't, it's not a smart pill. There are no shortcuts to raising your IQ. There are no shortcuts to raising your IQ. It's just like fitness, right? There's no magic fitness pill either. There's a deeper connection here that actually has to do with how the brain actually operates. So...


Duration4 min

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