Navigation Links
Taking music seriously
Date:7/20/2010

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Those ubiquitous wires connecting listeners to you-name-the-sounds from invisible MP3 players -- whether of Bach, Miles Davis or, more likely today, Lady Gaga -- only hint at music's effect on the soul throughout the ages.

Now a data-driven review by Northwestern University researchers that will be published July 20 in Nature Reviews Neuroscience pulls together converging research from the scientific literature linking musical training to learning that spills over to skills including language, speech, memory, attention and even vocal emotion. The science covered comes from labs all over the world, from scientists of varying scientific philosophies, using a wide range of research methods.

The explosion of research in recent years focusing on the effects of music training on the nervous system, including the studies in the review, have strong implications for education, said Nina Kraus, lead author of the Nature perspective, the Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences and Neurobiology and director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory. http://www.brainvolts.northwestern.edu

Scientists use the term neuroplasticity to describe the brain's ability to adapt and change as a result of training and experience over the course of a person's life. The studies covered in the Northwestern review offer a model of neuroplasticity, Kraus said. The research strongly suggests that the neural connections made during musical training also prime the brain for other aspects of human communication.

An active engagement with musical sounds not only enhances neuroplasticity, she said, but also enables the nervous system to provide the stable scaffolding of meaningful patterns so important to learning.

"The brain is unable to process all of the available sensory information from second to second, and thus must selectively enhance what is relevant," Kraus said. Playing an instrument primes the brain to choose what is relevant in a complex process that may involve reading or remembering a score, timing issues and coordination with other musicians.

"A musician's brain selectively enhances information-bearing elements in sound," Kraus said. "In a beautiful interrelationship between sensory and cognitive processes, the nervous system makes associations between complex sounds and what they mean." The efficient sound-to-meaning connections are important not only for music but for other aspects of communication, she said.

The Nature article reviews literature showing, for example, that musicians are more successful than non-musicians in learning to incorporate sound patterns for a new language into words. Children who are musically trained show stronger neural activation to pitch changes in speech and have a better vocabulary and reading ability than children who did not receive music training.

And musicians trained to hear sounds embedded in a rich network of melodies and harmonies are primed to understand speech in a noisy background. They exhibit both enhanced cognitive and sensory abilities that give them a distinct advantage for processing speech in challenging listening environments compared with non-musicians.

Children with learning disorders are particularly vulnerable to the deleterious effects of background noise, according to the article. "Music training seems to strengthen the same neural processes that often are deficient in individuals with developmental dyslexia or who have difficulty hearing speech in noise."

Currently what is known about the benefits of music training on sensory processing beyond that involved in musical performance is largely derived from studying those who are fortunate enough to afford such training, Kraus said.

The research review, the Northwestern researchers conclude, argues for serious investing of resources in music training in schools accompanied with rigorous examinations of the effects of such instruction on listening, learning, memory, attention and literacy skills.

"The effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness and thus requires society to re-examine the role of music in shaping individual development, " the researchers conclude.


'/>"/>

Contact: Pat Vaughan Tremmel
p-tremmel@northwestern.edu
847-491-4892
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Taking Public Transit Might Help You Stay Slim
2. Rich Vitamins Proves Taking Vitamins Doesn't Have to be a Pill with New alternaVites
3. Many Docs Dont Mind Taking Gifts From Industry: Study
4. NT-proBNP is a predictor of CV risk in arthritis patients taking NSAIDs
5. Gene mutation increases thromboembolism risk in women taking tamoxifen
6. Taking aim at metastatic lung tumors
7. Genetic differences may influence joint pain among women taking lifesaving breast cancer drugs
8. Robin Leedy & Associates Hires Digital Content Producer, Taking Social Media for Drugstore Brands Digital Capability to the Next Level
9. Taking the final step from the bench to the hospital or clinic bedside
10. A Womans Touch Encourages Financial Risk-Taking
11. Harmony Information Systems to Host Free Webcast: Learn How Vermont and Pennsylvania Are Taking Control of Medicaid Waivers Management
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ... products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. ... so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in southern Oregon, ... health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to create AccentCare ... company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight years. This ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Mohebi Hair Restoration, has recently contributed a medical article to the newly revamped ... cosmetictown.com. Dr. Mohebi’s article spotlights the hair transplant procedure known as Follicular ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at Children’s National Health System ... Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Oct. 12-15. Chaired by ... and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. Hunger, M.D., Chief of ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... one of Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in Wellness® by Best and Brightest. ... awards program on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing ... of targeted tissues, announced three leadership team developments today:   ... ... ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... Sept. 18, 2017 EpiVax, Inc. ... bioinformatics and immune engineering, today announced a ... A (H7N9) vaccine. ... seasonal influenza and presents a challenge for ... exposure to be effective. Using state-of-the-art bioinformatics and ...
(Date:9/12/2017)...  Consumer reviews on the independent review site Consumer Affairs ... company for hearing aids, ranking it higher than Miracle Ear ... ... For Hearing Aids ... online store that provides high performance, state-of-the-art, German-engineered hearing aids directly ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: