Sleep, coffee, omega-3, and intellectual activities would be effective in improving cognitive performance, but there would also be more playful (and fun) reflexes to adopt on a daily basis. A recent study extols the merits of groovy music during physical activity, which would act favorably on certain cognitive functions such as concentration and judgment.
Let’s groove tonight. This cult piece from the group Earth, Wind & Fire could help you, without you knowing it, to improve some of your cognitive functions. Incredible but true ! In any case, this is what a new study carried out by researchers at the University of Tsukuba, in Japan, reveals.
Groovy baby! The right rhythm for your neurons
The latter suggest that doing rhythmic physical exercises would accentuate their effects on the function of the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain associated with decision-making, emotional control, working memory, concentration, and even attention. Be careful though, it is not a question of doing sport at any rhythm, it is the groove that induces these beneficial effects on the brain.
According to Le Robert, the groove is the “rhythmic quality specific to music that encourages you to move and dance“, like rock and funk for example, but not only. Researchers even include more musical styles according to the definition they give of groove: “Listening to rhythmic music, especially music with a pronounced groove, elicits increased feelings of excitement, prompting individuals to instinctively move their bodies in sync with the beat“. They even specify in a press release that “this natural tendency to move in harmony with the music” is the very essence of groove.
Increased benefits when it grooves
But then, do you have the groove? Because this propensity to vibrate to the sound of music could prove particularly beneficial for the health of your brain. In any case, these are the conclusions of the research carried out by this team of Japanese researchers. Building on previous work, which had already shown that simply listening to groovy beats improved executive functions in the prefrontal cortex, the scientists were interested in the potential synergy between grooving and exercise. The idea? To determine if this association could increase the cognitive benefits – but also the pleasure – of physical activity, even when practiced in a moderate manner.
For the purposes of this work, the researchers invited 48 participants aged 18 to 26 to do three minutes of “very light” intensity aerobics to a groove rhythm. At the end of the experiment, participants who reported that their body “resonated with the rhythm” during this exercise session showed improved executive function in the prefrontal cortex. “These results, like the previous ones, support the hypothesis according to which groove rhythm allows us to increase the cognitive benefits of exercise (…) and suggest that subjective audiomotor training is a key mechanism of this stimulating effect” , conclude the authors of this study published in the journal Neuroscience.