The Sound of Silence: Can Imagining Music Improve Spatial Rotation Performance?
Hodgetts, Helen M.
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We report two experiments exploring whether imagining music improves spatial rotation via increases in arousal and mood levels (Schellenberg 2005). To aid their imagination, participants were given instructions (none, basic or detailed) and lyrics (present or absent). Experiment 1 showed no effect of instructions or lyrics on performance although participants felt that the presence of the lyrics helped. Experiment 2 was identical to Experiment 1 except that the participants were musicians (as evidenced by musical experience and/or qualification). This time there was a significant effect of instructions in that those who received the detailed instructions performed significantly better than the no instruction condition although the presence of lyrics did not help. Further research is required to establish the similarity of the imagination to the traditional arousal and mood effect but the phenomenon may be useful for short-term boosts in spatial rotation activities.
Perham, N., Lewis, A., Turner, J., and Hodgetts, H.M. (2014) 'The Sound of Silence: Can Imagining Music Improve Spatial Rotation Performance?', Current Psychology, 33(4), pp.610-629
This article has been published by Springer in Current Psychology, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12144-014-9232-7. The author's post-print is made available in this repository.
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