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Nov 23, 2016 09:35 AM EST

Learning Musical Instruments Can Boost you Brain Power, Research Suggests

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Musical Training
Learning musical instrument is actually more beneficial than most people realize, as studies suggest that it can boost a person's brain power, here's how.
(Photo : Credit: Chung Sung-Jun / Staff)

Do you know how to play at least one musical instrument? Did you play one when you were growing up? According to neuroscientists, musical training offers more benefits to the brain development of a child.

Even children who did not have any experience of playing musical instruments have shown a significant boosted connections right after 9 months of practice. According to research, musical training can even help in the treatment of certain brain development conditions such as autism.

This is the focus of the study of the researchers from the Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez in Mexico City. They conducted a study among children aged 5 to 6 six years old with no musical training. Each of them was given a brain scan using a so-called DTI (diffusion tensor imaging) to scan the brain's white matter, called axons. Axons are the nerves that connect with the other regions of the brain.

Dr. Pilar Dies-Suarez, lead author of the study, said: "Experiencing music at an early age can contribute to better brain development, optimizing the creation and establishment of neural networks, and stimulating the existing brain tracts."

These children were given nine months to learn musical instruments before they went through another DTI scan. After the scans, it was found that there was an improvement in the movement of the water molecules in the child's brain, and an improvement in the length of the fibers. The movement of water molecules along the brain fibers can help indicate whether the child has brain development problems.

"When a child receives musical instruction, their brains are asked to complete certain tasks."

"These tasks involve hearing, motor, cognition, emotion and social skills, which seem to activate these different brain areas"

"These results may have occurred because of the need to create more connections between the two hemispheres of the brain." Said Dr. Dies-Suarez.

The researchers are still on the process of trying to utilize the findings to treat autism and ADHD.

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