According to researchers at the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University, Illinois, there is exciting new research that shows how being a lifelong practicing musician can make the brain healthier. Nina Kraus, an auditory neuroscientist at the Northwestern University School of Communication, is the Principal Investigator for the evidence outlined below.
- Musicians have stronger auditory cognitive skills across the lifespan. Strengthened auditory cognitive functions may contribute to stronger speech-sound processing. Kraus & Chandrasekaran (2010) Nature Reviews Neuroscience
- The more you play, the more you profit across the lifespan! There is a correlation showing that as the total number of years practiced increases, the musicians showed increased scores in the following areas: attention, working memory, hearing speech in noise, and neural speech-sound processing. Strait & Kraus (2013) Hearing Research
- Music training affects sound processing across the lifespan. (this study measures how reliably is the brain processing the sound) Skoe and Kraus (2013) Frontiers
- Older adult musicians have superior hearing in noise & auditory cognitive skills -even musicians with hearing loss. This study compared musicians, non-musicans and musicians with hearing loss. Parbery-Clark et al. (2011) PLoS ONE
- Musicians across the lifespan are better at hearing speech in noise! Strait et al (2012) Brain & Language
- A lifetime of playing an instrument protects musicians from age-related neural declines. In this study, musicians had a faster neural response than non-musicians. Anderson et al. (2012) Journal of Neuroscience