"Scientists have uncovered the first concrete evidence that playing music can significantly enhance the brain and sharpen hearing for all kinds of sounds, including speech."
Music and the Brain - Interesting research results suggest that learning to play music early in life (especially before age 12) can affect the brain stem (and cerebral cortex) and lead to enhanced hearing and sound processing.
Scientists have uncovered the first concrete evidence that playing music can significantly enhance the brain and sharpen hearing for all kinds of sounds, including speech.
The Mandarin word "mi" means "to squint" when delivered in a level tone, "to bewilder" when spoken in a rising tone, and "rice" when given in a falling then rising tone.
Musically trained subjects were far better at tracking the three different tones than the non-musicians.
results were seen "in more or less everyday people. You don't have to be a top musician to find these kinds of effects."
Researchers found these changes occurred in the brainstem, the ancient part of the brain responsible for controlling automatic, critical body functions such as breathing and heartbeat.
Music was thought largely to be the province of the cerebral cortex, where higher brain functions such as reasoning, thought and language are seated. The brainstem was thought to be unchangeable and uninvolved in the complex processes linked with music.
These results show us how malleable to experience the brainstem actually is....We think music engages higher level functions in the cortex that actually tune the brainstem."
Tuesday, March 20, 2007 6:47:47 PM LiveScience.com - Playing Music Makes You Smart http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/070319_music_brainstem.html
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