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  • You've probably heard someone say that

  • listening to Mozart makes you smarter or that they have a photographic memory.

  • But... that's just not the case. Using the power of scientific research, let's bust...

  • some popular misconceptions about memory, intelligence and your brain.

  • If somebody tells you "listening to classical music increases your intelligence."

  • tell them to take it Bach. (Bachback 讀音相近)

  • In one study, participants listened to either a Mozart sonata, verbal instructions or silence

  • and then did parts of an IQ test.

  • Those who listened to Mozart did perform better in spatial-reasoning tasks.

  • Butthis enhancing effect of music, also known as "the Mozart effect", is only temporary.

  • It wore off in less than 15 minutes.

  • Subsequent studies have found that the "Mozart effect" only works for short periods when people enjoy the music,

  • and it doesn't work when the major chords are replaced by minor chords.

  • If you hear that someone has a "photographic memory", don't let it strike a chord.

  • There's no scientific evidence that we can remember things so instagood that our abilities mimic a camera.

  • People may have eidetic memory,

  • where they have an exceptional ability to process and organise information very efficiently

  • but this isn't the same as having an image in your brain.

  • In one study, researchers show that

  • mental representations about photographs aren't encoded the same way that photographs are recalled.

  • It's not possible to view a picture in your brain just as you observed it.

  • If you do want to think like the Flashcrossword puzzles and brain games aren't the way do it.

  • There's a popular belief that playing games keeps your brain young.

  • But... that's a trivial pursuit.

  • In one study, participants from 60 to 90 years old were split into groups.

  • Some groups learned new skills, like digital photography or sewing quilts,

  • and the other groups participated in social clubs, did crossword puzzles or watched documentaries.

  • Those who learned new skills and applied them to something creative - like photography or quilting -

  • showed the greatest improvements on memory tasks after three months.

  • And if you're looking to stitch up a higher score on a multiple choice test,

  • thinking "your first guess is always your best" isn't sew smart.

  • Pretty much all research on sticking with your initial hunches suggests that

  • most answer changes are from incorrect to correct,

  • and people who change their answers usually improve their test scores.

  • It's said we buy into this mythsometimes called the "first instinct fallacy"

  • because it feels worse to change a correct answer to an incorrect one.

  • That makes changing right answers to wrong more memorable, so it seems more probable.

  • And now if your first instinct is to click away, maybe that isn't always best

  • stick around and let me know what you think in the comments.

  • Following my Twitter and Tumblr for brainy facts and episode updates,

  • and if you do know already, subscribe to BrainCraft. I have a new episode out every Thursday.

You've probably heard someone say that

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