Music makes you smarter

October 26, 2009

Regularly playing a musical instrument changes the anatomy and function of the brain and may be used in therapy to improve cognitive skills.

There is growing evidence that musicians have structurally and functionally different brains compared with non-musicians. In particular, the areas of the used to process music are larger or more active in musicians. Even just starting to learn a can changes the of the brain.

Lutz Jäncke, a member of Faculty of 1000 Medicine, proposes using music in neuropsychological therapy, for example to improve language skills, memory, or mood. In a review for Faculty of 1000 Biology Reports, an online publication in which leading researchers highlight advances in their field, Jäncke summarizes recent studies of professional musicians.

The brain regions involved in music processing are also required for other tasks, such as memory or language skills. "If has such a strong influence on brain plasticity," writes Jäncke, "this raises the question of whether this effect can be used to enhance cognitive performance."

Several studies indeed show that musical practice increases memory and language skills, and Jäncke suggests expanding this field: "Hopefully, the current trend in the use of musicians as a model for brain plasticity will continue ... and extend to the field of neuropsychological rehabilitation."

More information: f1000biology.com/reports/10.3410/B1-78/

Source: Faculty of 1000: Biology and Medicine

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Biomarkers and efficacy of vaccine responses among patients treated with new MS drug

April 26, 2018
In March 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved ocrelizumab as the first treatment for both relapsing (RMS) and progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), a genetic disease that afflicts approximately 400,000 ...

Noninvasive spinal stimulation method enables paralyzed people to regain use of hands, study finds

April 26, 2018
The ability to perform simple daily tasks can make a big difference in people's lives, especially for those with spinal cord injuries. A UCLA-led team of scientists reports that six people with severe spinal cord injuries—three ...

Brain structure linked to symptoms of restless legs syndrome

April 25, 2018
People with restless legs syndrome may have changes in a portion of the brain that processes sensory information, according to a study published in the April 25, 2018, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the ...

New link between sleep arousals and body temperature may also be connected to SIDS

April 25, 2018
Brief arousals during sleep—sometimes as many as ten to fifteen per night—appear random in time and occur in humans and even in animals.

Ethics debate overdue in human brain research: experts

April 25, 2018
What if human brain tissue implanted into a pig transferred some of the donor's self-awareness and memories?

Imaging may allow safe tPA treatment of patients with unwitnessed strokes

April 25, 2018
A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators may lead to a significant expansion in the number of stroke patients who can safely be treated with intravenous tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), the "clot ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.