Playing music as a child may prolong your mental abilities as you age

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According to a Scottish study, learning an instrument during childhood would have a direct influence on thinking skills in old age.

Does knowing how to play an instrument from childhood have a beneficial influence throughout our lives? The idea is proposed by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, taken up by the British newspaper The Guardianwhich established a link between learning a musical instrument in youth and improving thinking skills in old age.

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According to the researchers, people with a long musical experience, from an early age, are also those who had significant improvements throughout their lives, in a test of cognitive ability. And this, taking into account the socioeconomic status, educational level or age of the people observed.

“These findings add to the evidence that activities that are mentally challenging, such as learning to play a musical instrument, may be associated with better thinking skills,” says Judith Okely, associate professor of psychology at Edinburgh Napier University.

The study participants were members of the “Lothian 1936 Birth Cohort,” a group of people from the Lothian region of Scotland, born in 1936, who donated their brains to the University of Edinburgh to study their evolution over time. life.

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Results “worth seeing”

The members of the group returned, as they aged, to the same tests of cognitive abilities, and were questioned, at age 70, about their past musical experiences. A link was then found between healthier aging and early musical activity. However, Emeritus Professor Ian Deary, who is behind the study, made some clarifications about these results:

“We must emphasize that the association we found between playing an instrument and lifetime cognitive improvement is weak,” he said. “However, since we and others are looking for the many small effects that may contribute to some people’s brains aging more healthily than others, these results are worth looking at.”

Of the 366 study participants, 117 said they had played a musical instrument, mostly during childhood and adolescence. The most commonly played instrument was the piano, but many other instruments were practiced, such as the accordion, bagpipes, guitar or violin.

Author: louis augry
Source: BFM TV

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