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Musical Training Activates Different Areas Of The Brain, Helps Children With Autism And ADHD, Study Says [Video]


A study revealed that musical training improves cognitive functions by activating different areas of the brain. This discovery could be used in treating children with Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The study was conducted on 23 healthy children who had no previous musical training, no family history of neurological problems, and were all right-handed. Before the training commenced, the children's brains were scanned using a special device called the Diffusion Tensor Imaging or DTI.

DTI is a technologically advanced version of MRI. This device can recognize microstructural alterations in the white matter of the brain as reported by The Indian Express. The brain's white matter contains millions of nerve fibers that are known as axons, which act like communication cables connecting a network in the different areas of the brain.

After nine months of musical training, the children were scanned again using DTI and the results clearly indicate a much more improved cognitive processes. The axons are seen behaving in a uniform way, which indicates clean and smooth connection of the various regions of the brain.

Moreover, the results show that there is increased communication between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which explains the activation of different regions. Music changes the brain by improving fiber connections.

Learning to play a musical instrument involves various processes, which include hearing, seeing and even sensing. Chief cardiologist, Pilar Dies-Suarez, of the Hospital Infantil de MexicoFederico Gomez, led the study and said, "Experiencing music at an early age can contribute to better brain development" as reported in NDTV.

On the other hand, children with low connectivity, meaning axons in the brains are not normally communicating, indicate an underlying medical problem. This so called low connectivity is a biomarker for Autism and ADHD.

Children with Autism and ADHD will immensely benefit with treatments involving musical training. Music will aid these children to process complex ideas that a normal person would easily accomplish.

In this way, children with these disorders can function properly in society instead of becoming a burden. Suarez and her team acknowledged that there is a need for further research, but she hopes that their discovery will open medical doors on the benefit of musical training as treatment and therapy.

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