Just 30 minutes of Mozart's sonata can help premature babies stay healthy, a new study has claimed.
The study led by Dr. Dror Mandel and Dr. Ronit Lubetzky of the Tel Aviv Medical Centre has found that premature babies who are exposed to music by 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gained weight faster - and therefore become stronger - than those who don't.
The research team discovered infants exposed to Mozart's music in one session, once per day expend less energy - and therefore need fewer calories to grow rapidly - than when they are not "listening" to the music.
"It's not exactly clear how the music is affecting them, but it makes them calmer and less likely to be agitated," said Dr. Mendel, a lecturer at Tel Aviv University.
During the study, researchers measured the physiological effects of music. After the music was played, the researchers measured infants' energy expenditure again, and compared it to the amount of energy expended when the baby was at rest.
After "hearing" the music, the infant expended less energy, a process that can lead to faster weight gain.
While the scientists are not sure what occasioned the response, Mandel offers an explanation.
"The repetitive melodies in Mozart's music may be affecting the organizational centres of the brain's cortex," he said.
"Unlike Beethoven, Bach or Bartok, Mozart's music is composed with a melody that is highly repetitive. This might be the musical explanation. For the scientific one, more investigation is needed," he added.