December 14, 2023

The Mozart Effect Myth: Listening to Music Does Not Help Against Epilepsy

Article published by Neuro Science News

Over the past 50 years, there have been remarkable claims about the effects of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music. Reports about alleged symptom-alleviating effects of listening to Mozart’s Sonata KV448 in people with epilepsy attracted a lot of public attention. However, the empirical validity of the underlying scientific evidence has remained unclear. Now, a new comprehensive research synthesis by Sandra Oberleiter and Jakob Pietschnig from the University of Vienna, based on all available scientific literature on this topic, showed that there is no reliable evidence for such a beneficial effect of Mozart’s music on epilepsy. The origin of these ideas can be traced back to the long-disproven observation of a temporary increase in spatial reasoning test performance among students after listening to the first movement allegro con spirito of Mozart’s sonata KV448 in D major. “Mozart’s music is beautiful, but unfortunately, we cannot expect relief from epilepsy symptoms from it”, conclude the researchers.