Monday, 3 October 2011
CAN MUSIC MAKE BIGGER BRAINS, CURE CANCER?
In my experience per head of population Kiwi’s are amongst the most frequent uses of anecdotes. Seemingly Every 2nd person believes in ghosts, argues the ethicacy of horoscopes, herbs treat Aids, magnets cures the loss of a limb, the benefits giving birth in a 2 metre ocean swell with whales etc. Alarmingly Kiwi’s consistently embrace trends which defy common sense. Enter from stage left, the one with its own hippy commune, ‘The Mozart Effect’ which according to my wife’s good friend “increases ones intelligence”. I was too nice to point-out the fact it hadn’t worked on her. The general spiel here is listening to classic music purportedly increases the temporal areas of ones brain, resulting in an increase of brain-power, higher IQ’s. Gullible parents are playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto’s to their brats, in the same fashion as no doubt Mr and Mrs Hitler did and the world saw what great results they got for young Adolf with his love of the Austrian composer. Like most crappy trends the birth-place of The Mozart Effect is The United States of America – that in itself should ring alarm bells. A minor, later totally discredited study in a second tare medical publication was latched onto by an uncritical mass media and grows legs on its own. Before someone in the scientific community points out “it’s a load of crap” it’s too late and tea-cup anecdotes become fact. Undeterred at these wishy-washy scientific facts its proponents, the ones selling tapes and books, now seize their market advantage and embellish their unfounded claims by saying it can cure cancer as well as making bigger brains. Conveniently these spruikers fail to mention Mozart himself died at the ripe old age of 35 as well as suffering from depression, renal issues and enough medical ailments throughout his fleeting life to fill a bucket full of leeches. By the way the other rumour that “Rap music kills brain cells” is entirely true. You read that fact here first.