Learn music to respond early during old age: Researcher


A new study in the field of health science has found out that learning how to play a musical instrument early in life may help you react faster and stay alert in golden years of your aged life. Hence, they are making the point evident that, to respond early in old age, learning a musical instrument is necessary.

According to University Of Montreal researchers in Canada, “Musicians have faster reaction times to sensory stimuli than non-musicians. And that has implications for preventing some effects of aging,” said lead study author Simon Landry.

Later Landry also added, “The more we know about the impact of music on really basic sensory processes, the more we can apply musical training to individuals who might have slower reaction times. As people get older, we know their reaction times get slower. So if we know that playing a musical instrument increases reaction times, then maybe playing an instrument will be helpful for them.”

After comparing the reaction times of 16 musicians and 19 non-musicians, the following results were found out. The musicians who were recruited from UdeM’s music faculty, have started playing between ages of 3 to 10 and has learned music for more than seven years in their lives.

They were made to sit in a quiet, well-lit room with one hand on a computer mouse and the index finger of the other on a vibro-tactile device, a small box that vibrated intermittently. They were asked to click on the mouse when they heard a sound (a burst of white noise) from the speakers in front of them or when the box vibrated, or when both happened. It was done 180 times.

The participants were made to wore earplugs to mask any buzzing “audio clue” when the box vibrated. “We found significantly faster reaction times with musicians for auditory, tactile and audio-tactile stimulation,” Landry wrote in his journal.

However, these results for the very first time suggested that long-term musical training reduces simple non-musical auditory, tactile and multi-sensory reaction times.

Landry made the point evident, “The idea is to better understand how playing a musical instrument affects the senses in a way that is not related to music.”

About the author

Kanishk Singh

Kanishk Singh, co-founder, and editor-in-chief at The TeCake, has forayed in the Science and Space for over five years, he enjoys his stint as an editor of several local magazines. He has written several editorials and high-level documentations.

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