Learning a musical instrument can help improve attention and memory, according to a new study. A team led by Dr Leonie Kausel, a violinist and neuroscientist at the Catholic University of Chile and the Universidad del Desarrollo Chile, conducted a study and found that children trained in music performed better in memory exercises.
They also found that they have greater activation in areas of the brain related to attention control and auditory coding, executive functions known to be associated with better reading, greater resilience, and greater creativity. and a better quality of life.
The researchers made the discovery by testing the attention and working memory of 40 Chilean children aged 10 to 13. Twenty of them frequently played an instrument in an orchestra and the other twenty had no musical training other than the school curriculum. Their attention and memory were assessed and their brain activity was monitored during a task. They found that there was no difference between the two groups in terms of reaction times, but children who received musical training performed much better when it comes to memory.
When asked if these results mean parents should enroll their children in music lessons, Dr Kausel replied, “Of course I would recommend it. However, I think parents should enroll their children not only because they expect it to help them stimulate their cognitive functions, but also because it is an activity which, although it is very demanding, will give them joy and the opportunity to learn a universal language, ”replied the specialist.
Leonie Kausel and her team already have a plan for the next stage of their investigation. “The next step in the project is to establish the causality of the mechanisms that we found to improve attention and working memory,” he explained. We also intend to do a longitudinal study on music training with children, assessing attention and working memory, and the possibility of evaluating a music training intervention on children with music disorders. attention. ”
The results were published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.