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Study shows musical training may preserve memory and hearing as we age

Article / Review by on January 31, 2012 – 6:30 pmNo Comments

Study shows musical training may preserve memory and hearing as we age

Study shows musical training may preserve memory and hearing as we age

Musical training, even late in life, may slow hearing, memory loss and other age-related delays in neural timing, according to findings recently published in Neurobiology of Aging.

PsychCentral reports:

In the study, researchers in the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory discovered that older musicians had a distinct neural timing advantage. This was determined by measuring the automatic brain responses of younger and older musicians and non-musicians to speech sounds.

“The older musicians not only outperformed their older non-musician counterparts, they encoded the sound stimuli as quickly and accurately as the younger non-musicians,” said Northwestern neuroscientist and co-author Nina Kraus, Ph.D.

The researchers caution that the study results (subscription required) don’t demonstrate that musicians’ have a neural timing advantage in every neural response to sound. Still, the findings are pretty interesting and add to a body of findings showing musical training may benefit the brains of both adults and children.

By Lia Steakley
Stanford University Medical Center

Photo by meeshypants


* Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions – Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

**  The above story is adapted from materials provided by Stanford University School of Medicine


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