MAY 17, 2018 05:48 AM PDT

How Musical Instruments Boost Brain Function

3 7 613

Music and the brain are often part of the same scientific research projects. How music is processed in the brain and how we learn to recognize and replicate music is a fascinating way to look at what the mind can do. For learning, many studies have shown that playing an instrument has benefits beyond just knowing how to make music. When even the most straightforward song is performed by a musician, the brain is processing the notes on the sheet music, hand movements on an instrument and sounds from the instrument that tell whether or not the tune is being played correctly. That's a lot of work for the brain to do, but staying in shape is a mental health practice as well as a physical one.

The benefits of learning to play an instrument are nearly limitless, and they are available at any age. Young children who take music lessons communicate sooner and better than those that do not, and a study at McMaster University shows they smile more, indicating they are more connected to their environment. In older adults, response time improves with music lessons, which is an indicator of brain plasticity. Keeping the brain in shape is critical for the elderly since that is when dementia can strike. Training in music can actually increase blood flow to the brain which helps after stroke recovery as well.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
MAY 31, 2018
Videos
MAY 31, 2018
Some Reindeer Have Eyes That Change Color
Learn more from this SciShow video about Norwegian reindeer with eyes that can change color with the seasons. Researchers found that this unique skill has
JUN 05, 2018
Videos
JUN 05, 2018
A Look Back at the Human Genome Project
Some of the participants in this landmark project tell some interesting stories about the work.
JUN 13, 2018
Neuroscience
JUN 13, 2018
Can This Robot Read Your Thoughts?
Artificial intelligence is at the forefront of neuroscience. Research is ongoing into projects that are investigating if AI could help those with Parkinson
JUN 21, 2018
Videos
JUN 21, 2018
Better think twice before you bite
 
JUL 01, 2018
Videos
JUL 01, 2018
Stress got you down?
  Stress isn’t just an emotion; it is a hardwired, physical response that travels throughout your entire body. Short-term stress can be advantag
JUL 09, 2018
Videos
JUL 09, 2018
How Spiders Use Electricity To Fly
Spider rains, or ballooning spiders, are a natural phenomenon believed by scientists to be caused by the silken threads of these unique insects that genera
Loading Comments...