The findings have implications for preventing some effects of aging
There is a lot of evidence that playing music is good for brain. A new research also suggests that musical training might enhance your senses interact.
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The study, published in the U.S. journal Brain and Cognition, shows that musicians respond faster to sensory stimuli than non-musicians and that has implications for preventing sensory decline that comes with age and affects our life.
“As people get older, for example, we know their reaction times get slower. So if we know that playing a musical instrument increases reaction times, then may be playing an instrument will be helpful for them,” said lead study researcher Simon Landry, a cognitive psychology expert from Université de Montréal, Montréal.
“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.”
Researchers arrived at the conclusion after comparing the reactions times of 16 musicians and 19 non-musicians in performing a simple test. All the participants were taken to a quiet, well-lit room. A vibro-tactile device, a small box that vibrated intermittently was also placed in the room.
Participants were asked to click on the computer mouse when they heard a sound from the device in front of them or when the box vibrated, or when both happened. Researchers found that musicians responded more rapidly compared to people with no music training.
“We found significantly fast reaction times with musicians for auditory, tactile and audio-tactile stimulations.” Landry said.
The musicians in the study had at least seven years of training and the group consist of eight pianists, 3 violinists, two percussionists, one double bassist, one harpist and one viola player.
This is the first experimental evidence of enhanced senses with long term musical training.
“Taken together with the previous results from other sensory modalities, these results strongly point towards musicians being better at integrating the inputs from various senses.” Study concludes.