MUSIC STUDIES BENEFIT SPEECH RECOGNITION IN LATER YEARS

Nov 13, 2013

By Michael Kramer

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Those childhood music lessons can sometimes leave painful memories but they appear to carry benefits into adulthood.

A  study has found that zoomers who took music lessons when they were kids can process the sounds of speech faster -than those who did not.

Doctor Nina Kraus is a neuroscientist at Northwestern University.

She says it does not matter what instrument you played when you were young – it just matters that you played .

44 adults ranging in age from 55 to 76 had their electrical activity  measured  in a region of the brain that processes sound. 

Those with 4 to 14 years of musical training had faster responses to speech sounds than participants without any training – even though no one in the first group had played an instrument for about 40 years.

Doctor Kraus says the study underscores the need for a good musical education to assist healthy aging.

The study is published in “Neuroscience.”

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