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. However, 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 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.
The purported positive effects of Mozart’s music is what drew the Israeli researchers to the topic. In their article, they note that the repetition of the melody in Mozart’s compositions, which resonates with a particular part of the brain, is less frequent among other classical composers and may account for the potential benefits stemming from his music.
Each of the 20 babies was played Mozart for 30 minutes, and the amount of energy they spent was measured simultaneously. The next day, the energy expenditure of the same 20 babies was observed, but without the music.
With Mozart, the energy use was reduced by at least 10 percent for each baby. Data from two of the infants were not counted because of unrelated variations that could have skewed the results.
The study did not measure the infants’ weight gain and only speculated that its findings could translate into a quicker weight increase.
Lubetzky said the reasons the babies used less energy listening to Mozart weren’t entirely clear, but it appeared to have relaxed them.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete