Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 203, Issue 4, pp 737–741 | Cite as

Sensorimotor adaptation is influenced by background music

Research Article

Abstract

It is well established that listening to music can modify subjects’ cognitive performance. The present study evaluates whether this so-called Mozart Effect extends beyond cognitive tasks and includes sensorimotor adaptation. Three subject groups listened to musical pieces that in the author’s judgment were serene, neutral, or sad, respectively. This judgment was confirmed by the subjects’ introspective reports. While listening to music, subjects engaged in a pointing task that required them to adapt to rotated visual feedback. All three groups adapted successfully, but the speed and magnitude of adaptive improvement was more pronounced with serene music than with the other two music types. In contrast, aftereffects upon restoration of normal feedback were independent of music type. These findings support the existence of a “Mozart effect” for strategic movement control, but not for adaptive recalibration. Possibly, listening to music modifies neural activity in an intertwined cognitive–emotional network.

Keywords

Motor learning Cognition Recalibration Affect Mood Visuomotor 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Physiology and AnatomyGerman Sport UniversityCologneGermany

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