Brain Topography

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 73–84 | Cite as

The “Mozart Effect”: An Electroencephalographic Analysis Employing the Methods of Induced Event-Related Desynchronization/Synchronization and Event-Related Coherence

  • Norbert Jaušovec
  • Katarina Habe


The event-related responses of 18 individuals were recorded while they were listening to 3 music clips of 6 s duration which were repeated 30 times each. The music clips differed in the level of their complex structure, induced mood, musical tempo and prominent frequency. They were taken from Mozart's sonata (K. 448), and Brahms' Hungarian dance (no. 5). The third clip was a simplified version of the theme taken from Haydn's symphony (no. 94) played by a computer synthesizer. Significant differences in induced event-related desynchronization between the 3 music clips were only observed in the lower-1 alpha band which is related to attentional processes. A similar pattern was observed for the coherence measures. While respondents listened to the Mozart clip, coherence in the lower alpha bands increased more, whereas in the gamma band a less pronounced increase was observed as compared with the Brahms and Haydn clips. The clustering of the three clips based on EEG measures distinguished between the Mozart clip on the one hand, and the Haydn and Brahms clips on the other, even though the Haydn and Brahms clips were at the opposite extremes with regard to the mood they induced in listeners, musical tempo, and complexity of structure. This would suggest that Mozart's music—with no regard to the level of induced mood, musical tempo and complexity—influences the level of arousal. It seems that modulations in the frequency domain of Mozart's sonata have the greatest influence on the reported neurophysiological activity.

Mozart effect Coherence Event related desynchtonization Music 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norbert Jaušovec
    • 1
  • Katarina Habe
    • 1
  1. 1.Univerza v Mariboru, Pedagoška fakulteta,Maribor,Slovenia

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