Latest research by Canadian cognitive neuroscientists Bayer uncovers why playing musical instruments can protect brain health by helping older adults hold on to their listening skills and reducing the effects of age-related cognitive decline.
Previous studies into the effects of music on mood shows that there is a growing body of work being published in neuroscience and medical journals arguing for the use of music to aide patient’s recovery, brain health, and well-being, and particularly that music can be used to promote the well-being of normally healthy individuals, claiming that music can positively influence all five of the factors affecting well-being (Positive emotion, relationships, engagement, achievement, and meaning), and as a result, there is compelling evidence that music can positively contribute to the well-being and happiness of a person’s life.
Building on this previous research, Bayer’s research identifies that after just one session there were short-terms benefits to cognitive function and brain health, this demonstrates further the brain’s plasticity; the ability to compensate and rebuild following injuries and diseases.
Crucially the research highlights the differences between listening to music and the demands on the brain when playing an instrument, particularly the precision and intricacies involved in making the various notes.
The findings are expected to lead to the development of brain rehabilitation processes that would involve the use of musical instruments, incorporating fine motor skills alongside listening and cognitive function.
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