Monday, 22 April 2013

Black Hawk Mines Music: How Music Benefits the Brain

Persons with no musical background were not only visibly more skilled after completing two weeks of regular exercise on a piano keyboard, their brains also changed measurably according to the studies by the University Hospital San Raffaele (Milan, Italy), presented at the 22nd Meeting of the European Neurological Society (ENS) in Prague.

The study also endow with evidence that even a diminutive episode of ambidextrous exercise directs to improved organization and more objective action between the left and right brain hemisphere.  The training also leads to better reactions to the nerve impulses in the fingers musculature.

In addition, the musical stimuli also provoked a structural rebuilding of gray matter in those brain regions that are implicated in harmonized movement.  The study exposed that the harder the task was, the better.

The brains 'neuroplasticity' a process in which the brain automatically reconstructs itself in response to a given task so that its internal structure and organization are best suited to a demand, scientists have only just researched about this.  Neuroplasticity works by automatically establishing enhanced interconnection of regularly used areas of the brain, at the same time as resources are wan down from those not oftenly used.

As two studies demonstrated Practicing music radically and efficiently speed up self-optimization of definite brain activities.

Researchers requested 12 musically inexpert accomplices to inishf ten 35-minute practice sessions on an electronic piano keyboard within a two-week period, in the first study.  They scrutinized the participants' hand movement method before and after the training was done, demeanor neurophysiological tests by means of a 32-channel EEG (electroencephalogram) and a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

All participants achieved a dramatic increase in their motor skills dramatically through training, yet the most surprising result was the harmonization in which both hands were able to perform, the results revealed.

"Our results show that two-handed exercise training among right-handers is associated with a significant improvement in the dexterity of the left hand. Ten days of a competently controlled exercise training can apparently suffice to trigger changes in cortical plasticity similar to results reported for professional musicians," declared by Dr Elise Houdayer from the University Hospital San Raffaele in Milan.

Prof Massimo Filippi at the Neuroimaging Research Unit le the second study at Milan's San Raffaele Hospital, 45 musically inexperienced participants who were divided into 3 dissimilar groups.  Every participants were ask to use their right hand for playing a specific succession of notes on a computer-modified keyboard, at the same time as subsequent the rhythm of a metronome for 30 minutes per exercise session.  The study stage concerned ten sessions throughout a two-week period.

The results were: One group was only able to listen to the metronome, whilst the second group listened to another piece of music with the same rhythm as the metronome. The third group was given the most complicated task of performing the given task whilst listening to music with a faster pace than the metronome.  All participants underwent agility and brain tests using the latest imaging techniques prior to the study and at study end.

The findings revealed an improved dexterity in all three groups, and although there was no impact observed on "white matter" architecture of the brain following the exercises, the team did notice substantial changes in gray matter volume in brain regions, which are vital for coordinating movement. The findings also showed that the brain's gray mass changed to an even greater extent in those who performed the most complicated task (Group 3).

Prof. Filippi concluded: "Musical stimulation during exercise training thus improves motor performance and affects the structural plasticity of the gray matter."

Dr. Rocca added: "The complexity of the task is also associated with different pattern of cortical activations as measured with functional MRI."

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