“Musical activity throughout life may serve as a challengingcognitive exercise, making your brain fitter and more capable ofaccommodating the challenges of aging,” concludeert prof BrendaHanna-Pladdy, neuroloog aan de Emory University School ofMedicine. “Since studying an instrument requires years of practiceand learning, it may create alternate connections in the brain thatcould compensate for cognitive declines as we get older.”
The study participants ranged in age from 60 to 83. One grouphad no musical training, one had one to nine years of musicalstudy, and the third group had 10 or more years. None of theparticipants had Alzheimer’s disease, and all had similar levels ofeducation and fitness.
“Based on previous research and our study results, we believethat both the years of musical participation and the age ofacquisition are crucial,” said Hanna-Pladdy. The participants eachunderwent a neuropsychological assessment, including tests ofverbal functioning, memory and attention. Those who had studiedmusic the longest performed best, followed by the next group ofmusicians. The non-musicians scored lowest on all tests.
Barok, opera, Liszt, Gurre
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