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Studies conclude: Keep your brain in shape by learning music or a new language

A new study suggests that whether you learn to play a musical instrument or you learn to speak another language, you train your brain to be more effective. Researchers at Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, IL have concluded that musicians and bilingual people use less brain resources when finalizing a task involving memory usage.

People with musical or bilingual backgrounds have activated different brain networks and have less cortical activity in comparison to those who speak only one language and have not had formal musical training. This was observed when the people in question were performing tasks.

Dr. Claude Alain, a senior scientist at Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Centre, has published a paper in this regard. His findings show that musicians and bilinguals need less effort to perform the same task, which could also protect them against cognitive decline and it could favor the delay of dementia. Based on the study, we can argue that a person’s experiences, whether learning how to play a musical instrument or another language, can shape the way the brain works and what neural networks are used.

Musicians and people that are bilingual have long proven to have a better working memory, the ability to keep things in mind, such as remembering a phone number, a list of instructions, or doing mental math. But so far, it remains a mystery why this happens…

Read our article that shows how you can keep your brain in shape with mind games.