March 12, 2007 | David F. Coppedge

Music Can Make You Smarter

Musical training in childhood can help one develop better language processing skills, reports a news item on EurekAlert.  Scientists at Northwestern University found that English-speaking adults who had musical training were better able to track intonations of Chinese tonal words than those who did not have such training.
    The study contradicted an evolutionary assumption about the brain stem.  “An old structure from an evolutionary standpoint, the brainstem once was thought to only play a passive role in auditory processing,” the article states.  “We’ve found that by playing music — an action thought of as a function of the neocortex — a person may actually be tuning the brainstem,” said Nina Kraus, one of the team publishing their results in Nature Neuroscience.  “This suggests that the relationship between the brainstem and neocortex is a dynamic and reciprocal one and tells us that our basic sensory circuitry is more malleable than we previously thought.

Do your brain a favor and learn to appreciate good music.  Don’t deprive children of the opportunity to learn how to develop a God-given capacity that enriches life.  (High-decibel repetitious raunchy cacophony excluded.)  Did you notice that evolutionary theory failed another prediction again? (03/08/2007).

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Categories: Amazing Facts, Human Body

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