Background music and cognitive performance

Percept Mot Skills. 2010 Jun;110(3 Pt 2):1059-64. doi: 10.2466/pms.110.C.1059-1064.


The present experiment employed standardized test batteries to assess the effects of fast-tempo music on cognitive performance among 56 male and female university students. A linguistic processing task and a spatial processing task were selected from the Criterion Task Set developed to assess verbal and nonverbal performance. Ten excerpts from Mozart's music matched for tempo were selected. Background music increased the speed of spatial processing and the accuracy of linguistic processing. The findings suggest that background music can have predictable effects on cognitive performance.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Attention
  • Auditory Perception*
  • Cognition*
  • Discrimination, Psychological
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Music*
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Orientation
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Reaction Time
  • Semantics
  • Time Perception*