New study demonstrates link between music and statistical learning

The latest study looking at the effects of learning music in childhood on auditory and visual skills has found that musically trained children had better melody, rhythm, and frequency discrimination, and were better at statistical learning.

“This is the first study to evaluate auditory and visual learning in the same group of people,” said Dr Pragati Mandikal-Vasuki, an auditory cognitive neuroscientist at the Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

The results showed that children exposed to at least a year-and-a-half of private music lessons are better able to detect patterns in the world around them, and musical instrument training makes their brains better at statistical learning.

Two groups of 25 children aged 9-11 participated in the study. One group had undertaken private music lessons for at least 18 months, while the other group hadn’t.

Behavioural tests revealed that the children who had had some musical training had better melody, rhythm and frequency discrimination. EEG scans, which measure brain activity, showed that the musically trained children detected patterns in auditory and visual tasks faster than those without musical training.

Want to know more about music and maths? See http://www.ams.org/samplings/math-and-music 

Image from Pixabay, reproduced under Creative Commons CC0.

SOURCES:

Macquarie University: http://www.mq.edu.au/newsroom/2017/05/15/musical-kids-might-be-better-at-identifying-statistical-patterns/

The Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/new-study-demonstrates-link-between-music-and-statistical-learning-20170514-gw4eec.html

Clinical Neurophysiology: http://www.clinph-journal.com/article/S1388-2457(17)30156-6/fulltext
Science Direct: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1388245717301566

DETAILS:

BENEFIT: COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
TARGET GROUP: CHILDREN
AGE: 9-11-YEARS-OLD
MUSIC TYPE: GENERAL
TYPE OF STUDY: ACADEMIC RESEARCH
NOs INVOLVED: 50
PERIOD OF STUDY: UNKNOWN
DATE: 2016
PLACE: AUSTRALIA

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