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At Work, Do Headphones Really Work? CLOZE

Cloze Test Worksheet

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Date Shared: 21 September 2015

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Research offers little support for the idea that listening to music improves concentration, says Robert Desimone, director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. In one of several small Taiwanese studies, listening to music with lyrics was linked to lower scores on tests of concentration in a study of 102 college students, published online earlier this year by the journal Work. In separate research, listening to hip-hop music was linked to a significant reduction in reading-test scores, based on a study of 133 adults published in 2010 in the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. In the office, listening to music with lyrics while trying to read or write can distract employees by overtaxing verbal-processing regions of the brain, neuroscientists say. The prefrontal cortex, the brain's control center, must work harder to force itself not to process any strong verbal stimuli, such as catchy lyrics, that compete with the work you're attempting, Dr. Desimone says. The more cognitive work required to screen out unwanted input, the fewer cognitive resources remain for the task at hand. And the longer you try to concentrate amid competing distractions, the worse your performance is likely to be. "Attention takes mental effort, and we can get mentally tired," he says.

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What does research say about listening to music while reading or writing? What evidence supports this claim?

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21 September 2015

SheilaRosa Author Country Flag United States of America

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