Classical music boosts learning and memory
Listening to classical music is not just simply soothing, it also enhances learning and memory, Finnish researchers have found.
London: Listening to classical music is not just simply soothing, it also enhances learning and memory, Finnish researchers have found.
Listening to classical music enhanced the activity of genes involved in dopamine secretion, synaptic neurotransmission, learning and memory, and down-regulated the genes mediating neuro-degeneration, said a statement released from University of Helsinki.
One of the most up-regulated genes, synuclein-alpha (SNCA) is a known risk gene for Parkinson's disease that is located in the strongest linkage region of musical aptitude.
SNCA is also known to contribute to song learning in songbirds.
"The up-regulation of several genes that are known to be responsible for song learning and singing in songbirds suggest a shared evolutionary background of sound perception between vocalising birds and humans," said lead researcher Irma Jarvela.
The team investigated how listening to classical music affected the gene expression profiles of both musically experienced and inexperienced participants.
All the participants listened to W.A. Mozart's violin concert that lasts 20 minutes.
Listening to music enhanced the activity of genes involved in dopamine secretion and transport, synaptic function, learning and memory.
In contrast, listening to music down-regulated genes that are associated with neurodegeneration - referring to a neuroprotective role of music.
"The effect was only detectable in musically experienced participants, suggesting the importance of familiarity and experience in mediating music-induced effects," the researchers said.
The findings may give further insights about the molecular mechanisms underlying music therapy.