Music and learning

The music generates a neuroplasticity that stays in the time

What has been of much use to you if you have left your music studies? Where were the hours devoted to the solfeggio? Lost time? These and many other questions will have been raised by many parents, and children, when they tried in vain that their offspring learned to play an instrument. For them, and for those who did end up earning their living among musical notes, the results of a study indicate that practicing music in childhood translates into an improvement of brain functions in the adult.
Although many research has examined how music affects our brain and body, the study now presented by researchers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA, focuses more on what happens after the children Stop playing a musical instrument if you have only done it for a few years.
To know if those years of learning are thrown overboard once the musical study is abandoned, the electrical signals of the medulla oblongata of 45 adults were measured in response to eight complex sounds with different tones. These brain signals are a faithful representation of the auditory signal, in this way the researchers were able to analyze the elements of the sound that are captured by the nervous system and to know if they are weak or strong in each participant with different experiences and capacities.
Among the study participants, whose results are published in the Journal of Neuroscience, were people without musical training, others who had studies ranging from one to five years and others who had studied music from six to 11 years. All of them began to play with nine years and their age, at the time of the study, oscillated between the 18 and the 31 years.
Compared with those without musical training, participants who had studied from one to five years of music had better brain responses to complex sounds. These people were more effective at extracting the fundamental frequency of the sound signal, that is, the lower frequency in sound that is key in musical perception and speech. “This ability allows them to recognize sounds in a complex and noisy environment, it is also important for spoken expression and memory,” explains Nina Kraus, professor of Neurobiology, Physiology and Communication Sciences at Northwestern University And lead author of this study.

Effects Maintained
For this researcher, it is clear that “the way you listen today is dictated by the experiences with the sound you have had until today. These new results are a clear example of this.”
These results, together with those obtained in previous research by these researchers, point to “benefits ranging from a better auditory perception, greater executive function and a more effective use of communicative tools.” All this suggests that musical training during development produces effects Positive and long-term effects on the adult brain, “the study reports.
“We hope that this data, along with what was discovered in previous research, will be applied in educational strategies. I think it is fundamental that music be a subject of the school more,” explains Kraus.

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