Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 394–399

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

  • Nicola Mammarella
  • Beth Fairfield
  • Cesare Cornoldi
Original Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF03324720

Cite this article as:
Mammarella, N., Fairfield, B. & Cornoldi, C. Aging Clin Exp Res (2007) 19: 394. doi:10.1007/BF03324720


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 

Copyright information

© Springer Internal Publishing Switzerland 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Mammarella
    • 1
  • 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
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Facoltà di PsicologiaUniversità degli Studi “G. D’Annunzio”ChietiItaly

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