We previously talked about the effects of music during your workout, but what about the effects of music on your brain?
Charles Emery, a professor of psychology at Ohio State University, performed research that actually showed that people who listened to music while working out resulted in increased scores on a verbal fluency test.
What about the people who didn’t listen to music while exercising? Well, they only performed half as well as their counterparts who did.
Does the Type of Music Matter?
In this study the upbeat sounds of “The Four Seasons” was chosen based on previous research by other scientists in the field.
While the study didn’t include any other types of music, most people agree the type of music which works best may differ by person.
The real question is, why does music have this effect?
The answer unfortunately doesn’t seem to be that straight forward and is more of an academic question than can be explained by proper science. Many of the scientists involved in the case study believe that while listening to music the brain has to sort out complex sounds, varying frequencies and intensities, timing, and so on. This effort by the brain to sort through the music, so to speak, is like exercise for your mind.
“Exercise seems to cause positive changes in the nervous system, and these changes may have a direct effect on cognitive ability,” Emery said. “Listening to music may influence cognitive function through different pathways in the brain. The combination of music and exercise may stimulate and increase cognitive arousal while helping to organize cognitive output.”
While there isn’t a ton of additional data to support the idea that listening to music while working out can actually make you smarter, it’s definitely doesn’t hurt to try.