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Archive for Friday, December 11, 2009

Mozart’s music may help premature babies gain weight

December 11, 2009

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— Is Mozart good for babies?

A group of Israeli doctors have plunged into this long-running debate with a small study that found the soothing sounds of the 18th century composer may help premature babies grow faster.

Doctors at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center measured the energy expenditure of 20 infants born pre-term while listening to Mozart in their incubator. They compared that figure with the amount of energy they expended without the music. But the scientists did not test a control group to measure the energy used by babies who didn’t listen to Mozart at all.

Among the babies in the study, the findings showed Mozart lowered the quantity of energy they used, meaning the babies may be able to increase their weight faster.

“While listening to this specific music, a baby can have a lower energy expenditure and hopefully he will gain weight faster than without music,” said Dr. Ronit Lubetzky, one of the main researchers in the study, which was published in the current issue of the medical journal Pediatrics.

The researchers used as a starting point a controversial 1993 study that showed college students improved their IQs by listening to Mozart’s sonatas for 10 minutes. Those findings sparked a craze that saw droves of parents buy Mozart CDs in a bid to boost their children’s brain power.

Later studies challenged what became known as “the Mozart effect,” saying classical music can’t increase basic intelligence among children or adults.

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