Music Training as Brain Training

In a broad review of research data from around the world, scientists Nina Kraus and Bharath Chandrasekaran from Northwestern University have found consistent evidence that musical training has a strong positive impact on the development brain function, in particular language, speech, memory, and attention. Their report “Music training for the development of auditory skills” was published in the July 20 issue of the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

“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 report concludes, and advocates for inceased investment in musical training.

Here of some snippets derived from the data the report digests:

  • Musicians, as compared to non-musicians, more adeptly incorporate sound patterns when learning a new language
  • Children with musical training, versus those without, show stronger neural activation to pitch changes in speech and have a better vocabulary and reading ability
  • Musicians display enhanced cognitive and sensory abilities than non-musicians, making them better able to pick up speech in challenging listening environments
  • 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.

As I’ve mentioned before on the blog, the benefits to musical aptitude and appreciation that people find from training with Brain Fitness Pro underscore the strong connection between music and core brain functions.

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