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Exercise Your Brain

Scientists know that people who listen to classical music score higher on tests ("the Mozart effect"). They also know that physical exercise is good for the brain. So what happens when you exercise to music?

Exercisers who listened to Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" while working out on a treadmill before taking a test of verbal ability did much better than they did after exercising without music. "Evidence suggests that exercise improves the cognitive performance of people with coronary artery disease," says psychologist Charles Emery. "And listening to music is thought to enhance brainpower. We wanted to put the two results together."

He wants to test this with other types of music as well. "We used 'The Four Seasons' because of its moderate tempo and positive effects on medical patients in previous research," Emery says. "But given the range of music preferences among patients, it's especially important to evaluate the influence of other types of music on cognitive outcomes."

If you really want to exercise your brain, play a video game that's controlled only by brain waves. Jo Twist writes in bbcnews.com that a game is being developed that is controlled directly from a player's brain, without the use of wires or brain implants. This could start a new era in games.

The game's "Bluetooth" headset fits over the occipital lobes at the back of the head, which process light, vision and hallucinations. In the past, this type of technology has been developed for people who are paralyzed and cannot use their hands, but this is the first time it's being used just for fun.

Next time you exercise your body or your brain, wear the tee shirt that lets 'em know you surf the internet the right way.

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