Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Music Making and Seniors

This brief article is about a preliminary study that suggests music making is of cognitive benefit to older people.

. . . Researchers Brenda Hanna-Pladdy and Alicia MacKay at the University of Kansas Medical Center surveyed 70 healthy people aged 60 to 83, giving them a series of neuropsychological tests. Those with at least 10 years of musical experience had “better perfor­mance in nonverbal memory… and executive processes” compared to non-musicians, the investigators wrote. . .

. . . It has already been known that “intensive repetitive musical practice can lead to bilateral cortical reorganization,” or wide spread changes in brain wiring, Hanna-Pladdy and MacKay wrote. But it has been un­clear, they added, whether musical abilities “transfer to nonmusical cognitive abilities” throughout life.

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