Brain Health

Can dancing enhance cognition?

Dr Frank Lipman
Dec 14, 2022

How often do you feel compelled to dance? New research suggests that each time you dance it could be working to enhance your executive function, which is in charge of memory, thinking, and organization.

Study Summary

The research included 51 participants who either listened to 3 minutes of groove music or 3 minutes of white noise. The researchers defined groove music as “a musical rhythm that induces the sensation of ‘wanting to move to the music’ accompanied by positive feelings while listening to music.” These were the findings:

  • Those in the music group who felt a sensation to dance and also felt more clear-headed from listening to the music had increased measures of executive function and associated brain activity.

The Hearty Take

At Hearty, we know that music and exercise (in the form of dance) are both beneficial for health. This study suggests that the way individuals are psychologically impacted by music may be a determinant of its cognitive benefits. If music makes you feel happy and swayed to dance, then we want to see you dance! Don’t be afraid to use music to help your movement habit, or to increase work productivity. Your neurons will be thanking you!

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