Musical Training Protects Against Memory Decline

According to a recent study of musicians and non-musicians ages 45 to 65, musical training helps older adults perform better on memory and attention tests, in addition to improving their ability to hear speech through background noise. The study required participants to listen to and repeat phrases read over noise and to also hear and repeat a series of numbers and words in specific order. Participants with musical training performed better on both tests than those who had three or less years of music experience. Study researcher, Nina Kraus of Northwestern University, said lifelong musical training appears to help with memory and the ability to hear speech in noise, two functions known to decline with age. The researchers said more study is needed to discover whether the benefits of musical training apply only to individuals that still play an instrument or if the effects are the same for people that trained early in life but no longer play. More here.

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