Playing music boosts brain power, research finds

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Old 23-Apr-2011
Playing music boosts brain power, research finds

London: Hours spent practising the piano as a child could help keep brain shipshape decades later.

Even if you no longer play music into adulthood, it will help keep the mind sharper as you enter old age.

Researchers found that pensioners who had piano, flute, clarinet or other lessons as a youngster, did better on intelligence tests than others, the journal Neuropsychology reports.

"Musical activity throughout life may serve as a challenging cognitive exercise, making your brain fitter and more capable of accommodating the challenges of ageing," said study co-author Brenda Hanna-Pladdy at the University of Kansas Medical Centre, according to the Telegraph.

"Since studying an instrument requires years of practice and learning, it may create alternate connections in the brain that could compensate for cognitive declines as we get older."

The study recruited 70 healthy adults age 60 to 83 who were divided into groups based on their levels of musical experience.

The musicians performed better on several cognitive tests than individuals who had never studied an instrument or learned how to read music.

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