A Canadian group from University of Vermont College of Medicine has done research on kids (aged 6 to 18) to study the relationship between training music and brain development. The participants underwent MRI scanning and behavioral testing on up to 3 separate visits, occurring at 2-year intervals. MRI, IQ, and music training data were available for 232 youths. The cortical thickness maturation in the brain was measured based on the duration of music training. The results showed that playing a musical instrument was associated with more rapid cortical thickness maturation within areas implicated in motor planning and coordination, emotion and impulse regulation. Moreover, music practice influenced thickness in the part of the cortex that relates to “executive functioning, including working memory, attentional control, as well as organization and planning for the future”. A child’s musical background also appears to correlate with cortical thickness in “brain areas that play a critical role in inhibitory control, as well as aspects of emotion processing”. Their research was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
This study could prove important to parents and kids who love music and who want to learn music. Music is indeed an integral part of life.
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