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dc.contributor.authorMehr, Samuel A
dc.contributor.authorBrady, Adena Michelle
dc.contributor.authorKatz, Rachel C.
dc.contributor.authorSpelke, Elizabeth S.
dc.date.accessioned2013-11-05T16:44:24Z
dc.date.issued2013-11-05
dc.identifier.citationMehr, Samuel A., Adena Michelle Schachner, Rachel C. Katz, and Elizabeth S. Spelke. 2013. Two randomized trials provide no consistent evidence for nonmusical cognitive benefits of brief preschool music enrichment. PLoS ONE 8(12): e82007.
dc.identifier.issn1932-6203en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11276120
dc.description.abstractYoung children regularly engage in musical activities, but the effects of early music education on children’s cognitive development are unknown. While some studies have found associations between musical training in childhood and later nonmusical cognitive outcomes, few randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have been employed to assess causal effects of music lessons on child cognition and no clear pattern of results has emerged. We conducted two RCTs  with preschool children investigating the cognitive effects of a brief series of music classes, as  compared to a similar but non-musical form of arts instruction (visual arts classes, Experiment 1) or to a no-treatment control (Experiment 2). Consistent with typical preschool arts enrichment programs, parents attended classes with their children, participating in a variety of developmentally appropriate arts activities. After six weeks of class, we assessed children’s skills  in four distinct cognitive areas in which older arts-trained students have been reported to excel: spatial-navigational reasoning, visual form analysis, numerical discrimination, and receptive vocabulary. We initially found that children from the music class showed greater spatial-navigational ability than did children from the visual arts class, while children from the visual arts class showed greater visual form analysis ability than children from the music class (Experiment 1). However, a partial replication attempt comparing music training to a no-treatment control failed to confirm these findings (Experiment 2), and the combined results of  the two experiments were negative: overall, children provided with music classes performed no better than those with visual arts or no classes on any assessment. Our findings underscore the need for replication in RCTs, and suggest caution in interpreting the positive findings from past studies of cognitive effects of music instruction.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipPsychologyen_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.publisherPublic Library of Scienceen_US
dc.relation.isversionofdoi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082007
dc.relation.isversionofdoi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082007
dash.licenseOAP
dc.titleTwo Randomized Trials Provide No Consistent Evidence for Nonmusical Cognitive Benefits of Brief Preschool Music Enrichmenten_US
dc.typeJournal Articleen_US
dc.description.versionAccepted Manuscripten_US
dc.relation.journalPLoS ONEen_US
dash.depositing.authorSpelke, Elizabeth S.
dc.date.available2013-11-05T16:44:24Z
dash.affiliation.otherEducationen_US
dash.hope.year2013en_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1371/journal.pone.0082007*
dash.authorsorderedfalse
dash.contributor.affiliatedSchachner, Adena Michelle
dash.contributor.affiliatedSpelke, Elizabeth
dash.contributor.affiliatedMehr, Samuel
dc.identifier.orcid0000-0002-6925-3618


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