Musicians respond faster to sensory stimuli

Image from Pixabay, reproduced under Creative Commons CC0.

Image from Pixabay, reproduced under Creative Commons CC0.

New research from the School of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology at the Université de Montréal in Canada, shows that musicians respond faster to sensory stimuli than non-musicians. This, in turn, has implications for preventing the sensory decline that comes with age.

“As people get older, for example, we know their reaction times get slower. So if we know that playing a musical instrument increases reaction times, then maybe playing an instrument will be helpful for them,” said lead study researcher Simon Landry, a cognitive psychology expert from Université de Montréal.

Researchers compared the reactions times of 16 musicians (from the University’s music faculty) and 19 non-musicians (from the University’s School of Speech Language Pathology) in performing a simple test. Both groups were roughly evenly split between graduates and undergraduates.

The participants were taken to a quiet, well-lit room, with one hand on a computer mouse and the index finger of the other hand on a small box that vibrated intermittently. They were asked to click on the mouse when they heard a sound from the speakers in front of them or when the box vibrated, or both.

Researchers found that the musicians – who had started playing between the ages of 3 to 10-years-old, and had at least seven years of training – responded more rapidly compared to those with no musical training.

SOURCES:
Université de Montréal: http://nouvelles.umontreal.ca/en/article/2017/01/06/play-an-instrument-and-stay-alert/
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311679389_Musicians_react_faster_and_are_better_multisensory_integrators
The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/playing-music-brain-benefits-aging_us_58765d35e4b03c8a02d4713b
i4u.com: http://www.i4u.com/2017/01/119471/playing-musical-instrument-can-sharpen-your-senses
health.com: http://www.health.com/mind-body/instrument-brain-benefits
The TeCake: http://tecake.in/news/health/27934-27934.html
Sciencedirect.com: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278262616300550
Medical News Today: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315231.php

DETAILS:

BENEFIT: BRAIN & SENSORY DEVELOPMENT
TARGET GROUP: YOUNG PEOPLE & ADULTS
AGE: 18-34-YEARS-OLD
MUSIC TYPE: GENERAL
TYPE OF STUDY: ACADEMIC RESEARCH
NOs INVOLVED: 35
PERIOD OF STUDY: UNKNOWN
DATE: 2016
PLACE: CANADA
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