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How Cranking Tunes Makes You Smarter

Date:05-10-2013 07:50:27 read:0
Category:Man-->Diseases

Way more fun than high-school Spanish class.

How do you say “turn up the volume” in Chinese? Listening to music can help you learn a foreign language, finds a study from the University of London.

Compared to those who studied a second dialect in silence, people who learned while playing tunes scored up to 41 percent higher on tests of recall and translation.

The reason: Music stimulates your brain and creates a state of “wakefulness” that renders your mind more receptive to new information, explains study coauthor Victoria Williamson, Ph.D. The structure of certain musical rhythms also helps your brain break up language into chunks that are simpler for you to store and recall later, she adds, citing past research.

But not all types of music will help you. Complicated songs featuring lots of instruments and/or vocals require too much of your brainpower—actually hurting your ability to absorb a new language, Williamson says. (The same goes for learning any kind of new info.) The ideal tunes should be relatively simple, repetitive, and free of lyrics, she emphasizes. Think mellow-ish grooves from artists like Sigur Ros. New music is more distracting than well-known jams, so choose songs or artists you’re familiar with, Williamson stresses.

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