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Music Education News Online – Dr. J. Pisano

Musical training can help us maintain brain health as we age – Music Education Works

By Dr. J. Pisano , in Music Education Research , at March 8, 2021 Tags:


Image from Pixabay, reproduced under Creative Commons CC0.

A study by staff at the University of Illinois, Northwestern University and the University of Texas, examined the role of different types of musical behaviours on brain structure in older adults.

They recruited 73 healthy older adults (aged 60-80) from the Urbana-Champaign community in Urbana, Illinois and asked them to complete the Goldsmiths Musical Sophistication Index questionnaire. The older adults included those with a variety of musical experiences – including amateur musicians with high, intermediate, and low-levels of musical practise – as well as non-musicians. None of the participants were professional musicians.

The questionnaire includes questions about a variety of musical behaviours, including performance on an instrument, musical practise, allocation of time to music, musical listening expertise, and emotional responses to music.

The study showed that musical training, defined as the extent of musical training, musical practise, and musicianship, was positively and significantly associated with the volume of the brain. And the study suggests that musical behaviours relate to a circuit of brain regions involved in executive function, memory, language, and emotion.

The researchers believe that their results arrive at an important time as the ageing population increases. The study raises the possibility that musical training may help offset age-related declines in brain volume in older adults. They hope that the results will encourage individuals to be involved in a lifetime of musical activities, particularly musical training, listening, and enjoyment.

SOURCES:

Brain Sciences: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7824792/

University of Illinois Experts: https://experts.illinois.edu/en/publications/musical-training-and-brain-volume-in-older-adults

Original source: BiggerBetterBrains

DETAILS:

BENEFIT: PROTECTED EXECUTIVE BRAIN FUNCTIONS
TARGET GROUP: OLDER ADULTS
AGE: 60-80 YEARS-OLD
MUSIC TYPE: GENERAL
TYPE OF STUDY: ACADEMIC RESEARCH
NOs INVOLVED: 73
PERIOD OF STUDY: UNKNOWN
DATE: 2020
PLACE: USA



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