Practicing Music for Only Few Years in Childhood Helps Improve Adult Brain!!

A little music training in childhood goes a long way in improving how the brain functions in adulthood when it comes to listening and the complex processing of sound, according to a new Northwestern University study.

The impact of music on the brain has been a hot topic in science in the past decade. Now Northwestern researchers for the first time have directly examined what happens after children stop playing a musical instrument after only a few years — a common childhood experience.

Compared to peers with no musical training, adults with one to five years of musical training as children had enhanced brain responses to complex sounds, making them more effective at pulling out the fundamental frequency of the sound signal.

The fundamental frequency, which is the lowest frequency in sound, is crucial for speech and music perception, allowing recognition of sounds in complex and noisy auditory environments.”Thus, musical training as children makes better listeners later in life,” said Nina Kraus, the Hugh Knowles Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology and Communication Sciences at Northwestern.

“Based on what we already know about the ways that music helps shape the brain,” she said, “the study suggests that short-term music lessons may enhance lifelong listening and learning.”
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