Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 394–399 | Cite as

Does music enhance cognitive performance in healthy older adults? The Vivaldi effect

  • Nicola MammarellaEmail author
  • Beth Fairfield
  • Cesare Cornoldi
Original Articles


Background and aims: Controversial evidence suggests that music can enhance cognitive performance. In the present study, we examined whether listening to an excerpt of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” had a positive effect on older adults’ cognitive performance in two working memory tasks. Methods: With a repeated-measures design, older adults were presented with the forward version of the digit span and phonemic fluency in classical music, white-noise and no-music conditions. Results: Classical music significantly increased working memory performance compared with the no-music condition. In addition, this effect did not occur with white noise. Conclusion: The authors discuss this finding in terms of the arousal-and-mood hypothesis and the role of working memory resources in aging.


Aging music working memory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Internal Publishing Switzerland 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Mammarella
    • 1
    Email author
  • Beth Fairfield
    • 1
  • Cesare Cornoldi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of Chieti “G.D’Annunzio” and Università Telematica, “L. Da Vinci”Chieti
  2. 2.Department of General PsychologyUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly

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