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Research reveals dancing can boost brain function

The study said that music with the sensation of groove can elicit feelings of pleasure and enhance behavioral arousal levels.

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Cheerful young African American bloggers enjoy favourite playlist in headphones, listens audio in music app, feels happiness, dance actively against yellow background, move emotionally, have fun
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By Jim Leffman via SWNS

Dancing actually boosts brain function, scientists revealed.

And the effect is strongest when the music is "groovy," according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Tsukuba in Japan found that dancing to music with a groove not only feels good but enhances cognition.

Strategies for boosting executive function of the brain have a wide range of potential applications, from preventing dementia in elderly people to helping employees enhance their performance.

The team began to look at music after study into exercise showed working out has a positive effect and is known to enhance executive function.


The researchers performed functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) with a color-word matching task to examine inhibitory executive function before and after listening to groove music.

They also conducted a survey about the subjective experience of listening to groove music.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, said that music with the sensation of groove can elicit feelings of pleasure and enhance behavioral arousal levels.

Until now no studies have examined the effect of groove music on executive function or brain activity in regions associated with them.

Professor Hideaki Soya said: "This could help to explain the many positive benefits of dancing, or any form of exercise conducted while listening to music.

"Groove rhythms elicit groove sensations and positive affective responses.


"Accordingly, in the present study, we conducted brain imaging to evaluate corresponding changes in executive function, and measured individual psychological responses to groove music.

"The results were surprising. We found that groove rhythm enhanced executive function and activity in the brain region only in participants who reported that the music elicited a strong groove sensation and the sensation of being clear-headed.

"Our findings indicate that individual differences in psychological responses to groove music modulate the corresponding effects on executive function.

"As such, the effects of groove rhythm on human cognitive performance may be influenced by familiarity or beat processing ability.

The team added the positive effects of groove music on executive function could include the effects of positive emotions and of rhythmic synchronization.

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