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Tero Toivanen

Music Improves Brain Function | LiveScience - 18 views

  • Laurel Trainor, director of the Institute for Music and the Mind at McMaster University in West Hamilton, Ontario, and colleagues compared preschool children who had taken music lessons with those who did not. Those with some training showed larger brain responses on a number of sound recognition tests given to the children. Her research indicated that musical training appears to modify the brain's auditory cortex.
  • Even a year or two of music training leads to enhanced levels of memory and attention when measured by the same type of tests that monitor electrical and magnetic impulses in the brain.
  • “We therefore hypothesize that musical training (but not necessarily passive listening to music) affects attention and memory, which provides a mechanism whereby musical training might lead to better learning across a number of domains," Trainor said.
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  • Trainor suggested that the reason for this is that the motor and listening skills needed to play an instrument in concert with other people appears to heavily involve attention, memory and the ability to inhibit actions. Merely listening passively to music to Mozart -- or any other composer -- does not produce the same changes in attention and memory.
  • Harvard University researcher Gottfried Schlaug has also studied the cognitive effects of musical training. Schlaug and his colleagues found a correlation between early-childhood training in music and enhanced motor and auditory skills as well as improvements in verbal ability and nonverbal reasoning.
  • The correlation between music training and language development is even more striking for dyslexic children. "[The findings] suggest that a music intervention that strengthens the basic auditory music perception skills of children with dyslexia may also remediate some of their language deficits." Schlaug said.
  • Shahin's main findings are that the changes triggered by listening to musical sound increases with age and the greatest increase occur between age 10 and 13. This most likely indicates this as being a sensitive period for music and speech acquisition.
  • passive listening to music seems to help a person perform certain cognitive tests, at least in the short run. Actual music lessons for kids, however, leads to a longer lasting cognitive success.
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    Even a year or two of music training leads to enhanced levels of memory and attention when measured by the same type of tests that monitor electrical and magnetic impulses in the brain.
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