Image from Pixabay, reproduced under Creative Commons CC0.
Neuroscientists in Chile have found new evidence to suggest that learning to play a musical instrument may be good for the brain – in particular, improving attention and working memory.
Led by Dr Leonie Kausel, a violinist and neuroscientist at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and the Universidad del Desarrollo Chile, a team carried out research with 40 Chilean children between the ages of 10-13 years.
Twenty played an instrument, had at least two years of lessons, practiced at least two hours a week, and regularly played in an orchestra or ensemble. The 20 control children had no musical training other than in the school curriculum.
The attention and working memory of all 40 children were assessed, and it was found that the musically trained children performed better at attention and memory recall. They also had greater activation in the brain regions related to attention control and auditory encoding – executive functions known to be associated with improved reading, higher resilience, greater creativity, and a better quality of life.
“Our most important finding is that two different mechanisms seem to underlie the better performance of musically trained children in the attention and working memory task,” says Kausel. “The next step of the project is to establish the causality of the mechanisms … We also aim to make a longitudinal study on musical training with children, evaluating attention and working memory, and the possibility to evaluate a musical training intervention on ADHD children.”
Frontiers in Neuroscience: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2020.554731/full?utm_source=fweb&utm_medium=nblog&utm_campaign=ba-sci-fnins-cognitive-benefits-music-lessons-children-longterm
|TARGET GROUP:||YOUNG PEOPLE|
|TYPE OF STUDY:||ACADEMIC RESEARCH|
|PERIOD OF STUDY:||2 YEARS+|