Music Makes Your Brain Mature And Improves Motor Skills, Study

By R. Siva Kumar - 08 Jan '15 02:00AM

You may be mad about music, or mad at it. Still, don't deprive your children of music training, as it would help them to cultivate fine motor skills, along with better emotional and behavioral maturity, according to a new study at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

On the basis of a database put up by the National Institutes of Health Magnetic Resonance (MRI) Study of Normal Brain Development, the researchers probed the brain scans of 232 children in the range of 6 to 18. They examined the development of the brains of children who played musical instruments, according to

"What we found was the more a child trained on an instrument, it accelerated cortical organization in attention skill, anxiety management and emotional control," said James Hudziak, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont and director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families.

The cortex, or exterior layer of brain shows altered thickness even as a child grows. Earlier, Hudziak and his team had discovered that the links between cortical thickening and thinning in different areas of the brain were responsible for depression, aggression and attention problems. It was a research that was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. But it took a different angle.

"I wanted to look at positive things, what we believe benefits child development," Hudziak said. "What I was surprised by was the emotional regulatory regions. Everyone in our culture knows if I lift 5-pound, 10-pound, 15-pound weights, my biceps will get bigger. The same is true for the brain. We shouldn't be surprised we can train the brain."

As the children who were part of the study included strong and balanced kids, Hudziak feels that they can extend the training even for those who are not too healthy. "A kid may still have ADHD," he said. "It's the storm around it that improves."

Inspired by his own research, and having never learned to play an instrument, the 56-year-old Hudziak decided to take viola lessons last year, although he describted his performance as "horrible"!

Music, then, has its own lessons, as it appeals to your brain apart from your ear.

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