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Will listening to Mozart make me more intelligent?

Michael Mosley looks at that famous – or perhaps infamous – piece of research that apparently showed that listening to Mozart could make you more intelligent.

It was research that even prompted a call in the US for every baby to be given a Mozart CD. Closer inspection – and a lot of studies that followed the initial 'discovery' at the University of California – however, show that there’s no evidence that this will make any difference to their IQ.

What music – and perhaps other things that people feel enjoyable – has been shown to do, is to be able to make someone better at specific tasks (the research in fact showed an improvement, rather esoterically, in folding and cutting paper!) for a very limited period of time (probably about 20 minutes).

Why? Perhaps because enjoyable experiences make you more alert, as your brain is keen to remember it.