Music grows the Brain!
Are you ready to have your mind blown?
A study led by neurologist and neuroscientist Gottfried Schlaug found that professional musicians who started playing before the age of 7 have an unusually thick corpus callosum. This white matter serves as an information superhighway between the left and right sides of the brain.
To further investigate, Schlaug studied children ages six years old who played instruments and those who did not for a minimum of 2.5 hours a week. Their brain was scanned at six years old and again at nine years old. The study found that the corpus callosum region that connects movement-planning areas on the two sides of the brain grew about 25% relative to the overall size of the brain in the children who played for at least 2.5 hours a week. Those who averaged only an hour or two of weekly practice and those who dropped their instruments entirely showed no such growth. The children practiced instruments, such as a piano or a violin, that required two hands.
In every subject, the researchers found that the size increase in the corpus callosum predicted the improvement on a nonmusical test that required the children to tap out sequences on a computer keyboard.
Schlaug and colleagues saw this as evidence that musical training can bolster neural connections.
MILLER, G. (2008, April 16). Music Builds Bridges in the Brain. Science. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://www.science.org/content/article/music-builds-bridges-brain