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Dana Foundation releases arts and cognition research
Date:3/4/2008

aining and the ability to manipulate information in both working and long-term memory; these links extend beyond the domain of music training.

  • In children, there appear to be specific links between the practice of music and skills in geometrical representation, though not in other forms of numerical representation.

  • Correlations exist between music training and both reading acquisition and sequence learning. One of the central predictors of early literacy, phonological awareness, is correlated with both music training and the development of a specific brain pathway.

  • Training in acting appears to lead to memory improvement through the learning of general skills for manipulating semantic information.

  • Adult self-reported interest in aesthetics is related to a temperamental factor of openness, which in turn is influenced by dopamine-related genes.

  • Learning to dance by effective observation is closely related to learning by physical practice, both in the level of achievement and also the neural substrates that support the organization of complex actions. Effective observational learning may transfer to other cognitive skills.

  • As several of the consortium members stressed at todays news conference, much of their research was of a preliminary nature, yielding several tight correlations but not definitive causal relationships.

    Although there is still a lot of work to be done, says Dr. Gazzaniga, the consortiums research so far has clarified the way forward. We now have further reasons to believe that training in the arts has positive benefits for more general cognitive mechanisms.


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    Contact: Barbara Rich
    brich@dana.org
    212-223-4040
    DANA Foundation
    Source:Eurekalert

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