Massimo Grassi

Massimo Grassi

Massimo Grassi, head of the Experimental Psychology division of the
Italian Association of Psychology. He published more than fifty papers
on auditory perception, cognition and their relationship.

Location Italy

Activity

  • One of super evident effects of music playing on behaviour is that it improves many psychoacoustical performances such as the ability to discriminate frequency and time. Violinsts have a super fine ear for pitch and drummers are very good in temporal discrimination.

  • Dear Ann. Not everybody loves music. There is even a small percentage of the population that suffers of "congenital amusia" that is an impairment in dealing with music pitch. And these people are not much interested in music in general.

  • @TimHaines yes. Correct. But let's suppose that the training "add" something to you. The more you train, the more you expect to observe the beneficial effects, isn't it? So, is this was true, why should the difference between musicians and nonmusicians be larger at smaller ages (when the effects of training should be little) and smaller or absent when they are...

  • @JohnMallett casual links for very far things and that requires years (eg like the years of training to become a musician) are the most difficult to demonstrate.

  • @JanCantle actually, it is my daughter that updates me on pop songs :-)

  • @Louisesmith what do you mean?

  • @JohnMallett what I meant is that if you do multiple activities at time there are to major dimensions along which you are able/unable to do the activities together: if the activities use (or do no use) the same parts of your motor system (e.g. you cannot eat and talk together). If one (or the other, or both) activities is known very well. If it is, you can...

  • @BarbaraPickering in the case of Scot Joplin the key may be the "pace" of the music :-)

  • @JWard The most honest response I can say at the moment it's: we do not know yet. Available evidences seems to suggest so, but there are too many things to explain. The first one is: why it should? Which are the links between music and intelligence?

  • @BeatriceV Or maybe people prefer to replace background environmental noise (that they find distracting) with background music.

  • @JohnMallett In reality, the explanation may be simpler. They do it because they are piano expert and piano playing does not require so much much attention for them. For example, when we drive, we can keep a conversation. But this was not true when we were learning to drive and we needed to focus on every detail of the driving.

  • Not sure I understand. But I guess what we do changes the brain but necessarily in a good way. And in any case, unfortunately, there is not something like "the part of the brain" stimulated by this or that. The brain works in a more complex way.

  • @JohnMallett the "music for supermarket" topic is interesting.

  • @PedroCosta mmmmm... There is not support for Gardner's theory. And it seems to be lacking of many things. But it seems alive nonetheless because (I think) we all like to think to have at least this or that intelligence. It's very human.

  • @HarryCather up to few years ago it was rising. Now, the Flynn effect seems to have stopped. Let's see.

  • @JohnMallett I should check for that question. But indeed the manual of the test takes into account several possibilities. Even surprising ones.

  • @MikeM indeed. It seems impossible to find something that everybody knows :-)

  • @DerekBond I was suggesting pottery, but it could be something else. You may replace it with any activity you think it should not (even when it is done intensively) be connected to intelligence and therefore improve intelligence.

  • Grazie Keith!

  • I suppose the ancient music of Greeks would sound awful today.

  • See you soon Razif!

  • Grazie Katalin!

  • This is fantastic! Thanks!

  • Grazie Anne!

  • Grazie Giada!

  • Grazie Mary! See you soon!

  • @MaryZajac Thank you for attending the course!

  • @RazifMohd This makes sense!

  • Indeed!

  • I agree :-)

  • If we assume it does, we should also understand whether it is worth to take the effort. If (for example) 10 years of intense training would boost your IQ of (for example) 1 point, would you take the music training? Music has value per se!

  • I'll add some more. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Super correct. For example, there is not yet a shared definition of "musician". How many years of training do you need to be called "musician"? How many hours of training per day? Etc.

  • Sorry! I didn't mean that. The key point is that you need a control activity that you do not think to have an effect.

  • I disagree. Rap is fairly complex.

  • This is the reality we face every time we conclude a new research, unfortunately. Progresses are slow.

  • What were you looking for?

  • Dale, note that here in the course we often refer to correlations. This means a relationship but not necessarily a one to one relationship. So there may be more or less exceptions.

  • I agree :-)

  • I suggest everybody to think about two points that nobody seems to pay much attention to: 1. the music effect on intelligence decreased with age so that is was large at young age and small at older ages; 2. the effect was generic and not on one specific skill/activity. Doesn't this surprise you?

  • And you are correct to be skeptical :-)

  • There is no direct link to the study, however.

  • I share your skepticism.

  • And I share your skepticism :-)

  • There are some meta analysis that compare the effect of several types of trainings.

  • Super spot on!

  • In which order? :-)

  • @MaryZajac bur also memory, isn't it?

  • Sorry, I do not know much about it :-|

  • This is correct. For example, if you play the violin you may improve your ability to hear whether something is in tune or out of tune. If you play drums, in contrast, you may become an expert to understand whether something is in time or out of time.

  • Important comment on this activity. The final score is not at all important. What I want you to think about is exactly in which ability you expect music to have an effect. I give you an example. Let suppose I train in football (soccer for US). I am a professional player. I could imagine that this training (training in football) could improve for example my...

  • @AlessandraSuaste and does this happen when we are learning (for example) a new videogame?

  • @MaryAnnAtwood this is a good definition. It sets things clear.

  • @IdaMillerMukherjee well, music and animals. This is a long debate. For the moment, it simply looks that animals do not like music (there is one study playing music and silence to primates and primates prefer silence). I don't know about rhythm.

  • Playing an instrument can be such a companion.

  • This is a good opinion.

  • @FrancesTogneri well, it really depends on the target you set. If you learn to be a master, maybe it's too late. But if you learn to have fun, I think any level can be good.

  • And by the same token, some people find the background music distracting per se.

  • Indeed, music is a powerful mood modulator.

  • Classic theories posit that the problem is when the activities interact. For example, listening to music (auditory activity) and driving (motor activity) do not interact.

  • Correct.

  • @OlgaMaximova @AnneMargaretSmith rock can work as well. Any type of music (in theory) could work. It is the interaction music listener that matters.

  • It is more the effect of music on mood (brain stimulation here plays little role).

  • Exactly! Spot on: the core of the Mozart effect (when it occurs).

  • But maybe not too relaxed isn't it?

  • The quiz was fairly difficult :-)

  • @KathleenWalker and @stewartwest apologies! But they were indeed ultra popular songs!

  • @KathleenWalker Indeed. Music is a powerful modulator of our mood (in any direction).

  • :-)