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:3/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... Texas ... which can be found at 9618 Huebner Road. The clinic is the group’s 7th ... Clinic Director, and Dr. Ali Higgins, PT, will provide care from the clinic, which ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Arizona (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... Healing Center, Sedona, Arizona’s Premier Center for Shamanic Healing and Spiritual Awakening, ... Luis Delgado, June 9--24, 2017. This sacred and spiritual journey during the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... they are now offering treatments for sleep apnea and TMJ at their office. ... Sleep apnea , specifically the obstructive type, is increasingly being treated at dental ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Viewers who like to educate themselves on current issues and ... services, and societal issues tend to appreciate and love the "Informed" series, hosted by ... running events for causes around the world. , Running for charity has ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Judy Buchanan, co-owner of Serenity ... MD. Judy says, “I am passionate about sharing Reiki as a holistic, complementary ... and challenging time.” , A Certified Medical Reiki™ Master trained by Raven Keys ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Today Stock-Callers.com have issued ... are: Neovasc Inc. (NASDAQ: NVCN), Hologic Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX), Edwards ... SSH ). These companies are part of the Healthcare ... Thursday, March 23 rd , 2017, with the NYSE Health ... health care companies in the S&P 500 were down about ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 23, 2017  Mirabilis Medical, a ... medical technology for non-invasive surgery, announced today CE ... for treatment of uterine fibroids throughout the European ... received approval from the US Food and Drug ... Mirabilis System in the United States.  The Mirabilis ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Care, based in St. Joseph, Missouri , has selected AccuReg to ... located in 22 cities, and its flagship St. Joseph Medical Center. Mosaic ... health care to its patients, including the insurance, billing and collections processes. ... ... Care St. Joseph Medical Center ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: