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A small study conducted at the University of California, Irvine in 1991 discovered that listening to Mozart before performing small mental tasks gave young adults a modest brain boost. As a result of this, an exaggerated mythology surrounding what became known as “the Mozart effect” emerged, linking exposure to classical music with increased intelligence – particularly in babies. Claudia Hammond, a UK broadcaster and psychologist, deconstructs the Mozart effect craze and what the research on music and intelligence actually says in this animation. In doing so, the short video also shows how academic studies are frequently distorted and exaggerated in the media in the public imagination.

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