Background and aims: Controversial evidence suggests that music can enhance cognitive performance. In the present study, we examined whether listening to an excerpt of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" had a positive effect on older adults' cognitive performance in two working memory tasks.
Methods: With a repeated-measures design, older adults were presented with the forward version of the digit span and phonemic fluency in classical music, white-noise and no-music conditions.
Results: Classical music significantly increased working memory performance compared with the no-music condition. In addition, this effect did not occur with white noise.
Conclusion: The authors discuss this finding in terms of the arousal-and-mood hypothesis and the role of working memory resources in aging.