Navigation Links
Early music lessons boost brain development
Date:2/12/2013

This press release is available in French.

Montreal, February 12, 2013 If you started piano lessons in grade one, or played the recorder in kindergarten, thank your parents and teachers. Those lessons you dreaded or loved helped develop your brain. The younger you started music lessons, the stronger the connections in your brain.

A study published last month in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that musical training before the age of seven has a significant effect on the development of the brain, showing that those who began early had stronger connections between motor regions the parts of the brain that help you plan and carry out movements.

This research was carried out by students in the laboratory of Concordia University psychology professor Virginia Penhune, and in collaboration with Robert J. Zatorre, a researcher at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill University.

The study provides strong evidence that the years between ages six and eight are a "sensitive period" when musical training interacts with normal brain development to produce long-lasting changes in motor abilities and brain structure. "Learning to play an instrument requires coordination between hands and with visual or auditory stimuli," says Penhune. "Practicing an instrument before age seven likely boosts the normal maturation of connections between motor and sensory regions of the brain, creating a framework upon which ongoing training can build."

With the help of study co-authors, PhD candidates Christopher J. Steele and Jennifer A. Bailey, Penhune and Zatorre tested 36 adult musicians on a movement task, and scanned their brains. Half of these musicians began musical training before age seven, while the other half began at a later age, but the two groups had the same number of years of musical training and experience. These two groups were also compared with individuals who had received little or no formal musical training.

When comparing a motor skill between the two groups, musicians who began before age seven showed more accurate timing, even after two days of practice. When comparing brain structure, musicians who started early showed enhanced white matter in the corpus callosum, a bundle of nerve fibres that connects the left and right motor regions of the brain. Importantly, the researchers found that the younger a musician started, the greater the connectivity.

Interestingly, the brain scans showed no difference between the non-musicians and the musicians who began their training later in life; this suggests that the brain developments under consideration happen early or not at all. Because the study tested musicians on a non-musical motor skill task, it also suggests that the benefits of early music training extend beyond the ability to play an instrument.

"This study is significant in showing that training is more effective at early ages because certain aspects of brain anatomy are more sensitive to changes at those time points," says co-author, Dr. Zatorre, who is also the co-director of the International Laboratory for Brain Music and Sound Research.

But, says Penhune, who is also a member of the Centre for Research in Human Development, "it's important to remember that what we are showing is that early starters have some specific skills and differences in the brain that go along with that. But, these things don't necessarily make them better musicians. Musical performance is about skill, but it is also about communication, enthusiasm, style, and many other things that we don't measure. So, while starting early may help you express your genius, it probably won't make you a genius."


'/>"/>

Contact: Clea Desjardins
clea.desjardins@concordia.ca
514-848-2424 x5068
Concordia University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Early Bird Conference Registrations Expiring This Friday
2. LSUHSC scientist awarded nearly $2 million to determine role of biofilms in common fungal infection
3. Aztec conquest altered genetics among early Mexico inhabitants, new DNA study shows
4. Sex of early birds suggests dinosaur reproductive style
5. An early sign of spring, earlier than ever
6. New data challenge old views about evolution of early life
7. Mining ancient ores for clues to early life
8. Plant stress paints early picture of drought
9. Is the detection of early markers of Epstein Barr virus of diagnostic value?
10. Scientists improve dating of early human settlement
11. Test developed to detect early-stage diseases with naked eye
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/4/2017)... , April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , ... that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ... covers the linking of an iris image with a ... and represents the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... is very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017 The research team of The Hong ... fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and ... speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, ... ... A research team led ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... India , March 28, 2017 ... IP, Biometrics), Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software ... Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... Billion in 2016 and is projected to reach USD ... between 2017 and 2022. The base year considered for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... The AMA ... 11 high school graduates from across the nation. The scholarships are created through funds ... member dues. , Scholarship criteria are set by the AMA Scholarship Committee, which is ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... TX; Ultrecht, Netherlands (PRWEB) , ... April 20, ... ... Qafis Biometrics Technology today announced their strategic partnership to offer a full ... digital identity authentication, a comprehensive suite of biometric products and the ground-breaking proactive ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... NetDimensions appoints Bill Mastin, ... With over 20 years of experience in the learning technologies industry, Mastin joins NetDimensions ... within Learning Technologies Group plc (LTG). At LEO, Mastin served as SVP of the ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... of a unique intellectual property (IP) sharing and commercialization model. , The Center ... inventions. A main component of this effort is bringing the IP to the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: