Women Better Than Men at Concentrating While Listening to Music

By Gary Cutlack on at

[mildly sexist introductory paragraph deleted]

And that's according to scientists at Imperial College and the Royal College of Music, who carried out the test on real living woman brains. Their method was simple: play music to both men and women through headphones, then ask them all to do tests to monitor their concentration levels while listening to music and again while sitting there in old fashioned silence.

350 people were played tunes from the likes of Mozart and AC/DC while they were tested, then their performances were examined again while vague background clinkings of a hospital operating theatre played. Their task was to play one of those Operation-style games where concentration is critical. Their findings were that women performed to the same level regardless of what sounds were being played into their heads, but the performance of men was compromised by music.

Rock music had the largest detrimental effect on the brains of the male subjects, with lead researcher Dr Daisy Fancourt saying, only partially in jest, that: "This study suggests that for men who are operating or playing a board game, rock music may be a bad idea." [BBC]

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