Researchers: Silence better for studying

August 2, 2010 It turns out, students who study for exams while listening to music may be doing themselves more harm than good. New research finds background music can impair a student's ability to perform memory tasks.

Students taking part in the study were asked to recall a list of eight consonants in the order they were presented. They did this in five different sound environments. Their recall ability was weakest when they were listening to music.

Results of the study appear online in the journal "Applied Cognitive Psychology."

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