Musically Trained Children Perform Better In Attention and Working Memory Tasks, Study Suggests

Feb, 2021 - By WMR

Musically Trained Children Perform Better In Attention and Working Memory Tasks, Study Suggests

According to a new study led by the team of neuroscientists have suggested that learning a musical instrument enhances brain health in children. Moreover, researchers also reported that musically trained children have enhanced attention and memory recall the brain regions are highly activated that are linked  with attention control and auditory encoding, which aids in higher resilience, improved reading, higher creativity, and better quality of life.

In the study, researchers evaluated attention and working memory of 40 children of age group of 10-13. Out of 40 children, 20 children played an instrument with experience of minimum of two years, practiced at least 2 hours a week and regularly played in an orchestra or ensemble. Other 20 children were under control group without any musical training, apart from the school curriculum. These children were instructed to undergo attention and working memory (WM) task (audio/visual). During the task, researchers monitored the brain activity of the participants using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which detects minute changes in the blood flow within the brain. Later researchers found no difference in reaction time between the two groups, but musically trained children performed significantly better in memory task.

Dr. Leonie Kausel, stated, "Our most important finding is that two different mechanisms seem to underlie the better performance of musically trained children in the attention and WM memory task. One that supports more domain-general attention mechanisms and another that supports more domain-specific auditory encoding mechanisms.”

Researchers highlighted about ‘domain’ that mentions how types of senses such as light, heat, sound, or are encrypted by the brain, while domain-specific vs. -general means that only one vs. more than one sensorial modality is processed, and "mechanism" signifies the neurochemical events that occur. Moreover, both mechanisms exhibited enhanced function in musically trained children. Researchers also suggested that parents should register their children in music classes, not only it would enhance their cognitive functions, but will also provide them joyfulness to learn a universal language.

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