Thursday, 2 February 2012

Playing a musical instrument slows ageing/ why does our brain get worse?

Play piano, guitar, trumpet, horn or anything else? There's evidence you'll age slower!

Music is a huge part of our lives and when we learn to produce it our brain improves!

The clearest sign of ageing is failure to respond quickly or trouble hearing, even though naturally your senses get worse and worse as you age, playing an instrument can slow this down!

Why does memory degrade as we get older?

It's not a case of our brains getting overloaded with information, it's a case of processing it! 

The capacity of our brain!

Some scientists found the number of neurons connected to each other in our brain found it calculated we have a capacity of around 2.5 petabytes!

For those of you who don't do prefixes, it's about 447392427 songs, which when played (a song lasting for roughly 3 minutes) will play for about 2554 years!

A study undertaken at a neuroscience laboratory investigated the effects of starting music early.

  • They got 18 musicians and 19 non-musicians, all between age 45-65.
  • Asked them to partake in activities regarding auditory working memory and visual memory.
  • The musician group outperformed the non-musicians in all categories but visual (they were identical).
This suggests that a continuous exercise of the auditory senses improves the memory!

What else does learning music do?

To put it bluntly, it actually makes you cleverer, studies in several different countries have concluded a correlation between music players and IQ. 
  • Active learning in music develops a bit in your brain called the cerebral cortex, a part which other academic subjects just don't affect.
  • Develops co-ordination, motor skills and social skills (really).
  • Improves spatial reasoning (basically thinking 'outside the box')
So if you want better memory and potentially to make yourself even cleverer than you already are, take up an instrument!

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