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.
Japan’s Mount Aso erupted yesterday, spewing a giant column of ash thousands of meters into the sky as hikers rushed away from the popular tourist spot. No injuries were immediately reported after the late-morning eruption in southwest Japan, which sent rocks flying in a dramatic blast captured by nearby CCTV cameras. People were warned not to approach the volcano as it ejected hot gas and ash as high as 3,500m, and sent stones tumbling down its grassy slopes. Authorities were checking if any hikers had been trapped or injured, officials told local media, as TV footage showed dozens of vehicles and tour buses
PROMPTING MOCKERY : A cryptic announcement of the pianist’s detention by Beijing police was followed by CCTV commenting on the ‘social morality’ of celebrities Concert pianist Li Yundi (李雲迪), one of China’s most famous musicians, has been detained in Beijing over prostitution allegations, state media said on Thursday, prompting some incredulity and a lot of mockery on Chinese social media. Reuters was unable to immediately reach Li or a representative for comment. Police in the Chinese capital’s Chaoyang District said they had detained a 39-year-old man surnamed Li, along with a 29-year-old female surnamed Chen, after receiving reports from the public of prostitution in a neighborhood they did not identify. Both people confessed to the illegal activity, the police said in a statement on a microblogging platform. The
‘AVOIDABLE SITUATION’: After being tortured in his home country, a Sri Lankan and his family are at risk of deportation from the UK, despite his academic fellowship A scientist conducting groundbreaking research into renewable energy is facing deportation with his family to Sri Lanka, where he was tortured, after receiving contradictory information about his case from the British Home Office. Nadarajah Muhunthan, 47, his wife, Sharmila, 42, and their three children, aged 13, nine and five, went to the UK in 2018 after Muhunthan, who is working on thin-film photovoltaic devices used to generate solar power, was given a prestigious Commonwealth Rutherford fellowship. The award allowed him to reside to the UK for two years to research and develop the technology. His wife obtained a job caring for
DEMAND-DRIVEN: The report, produced by Greenpeace and TheTreeMap, said law enforcement has allowed palm oil plantations on UNESCO sites, parks and tiger habitats Almost one-fifth of the land used for Indonesian palm oil plantations is located in the country’s forest conservation areas, despite a law banning such activity, a study by Greenpeace has found. The report, produced by Greenpeace and TheTreeMap, describes a catastrophic failure of law enforcement that has permitted swathes of land — including UNESCO sites, national parks and areas mapped as habitats for orangutans and Sumatran tigers — to be cultivated as palm oil plantations. Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, which is used in many everyday products and foods, from shampoo and lipstick to chocolate and frozen pizzas. However,