Music Making as a Tool for Promoting Brain Plasticity

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Wan CY, Schlaug G. Music making as a tool for promoting brain plasticity across the life span. Neuroscientist. 2010 Oct;16(5):566-77. Review. PubMed PMID: 20889966; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2996135. [Free full text.]

Neurologists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School summarize research on the effects of musical training on the structural and functional organization of the human brain.

“This review summarizes research on the effects of musical training on the structural and functional organization of the human brain. Engaging in musical activities not only shapes the organization of the developing brain but also produces long-lasting changes even after brain maturation is complete. The fact that the adult brain can undergo continual modifications highlights the potential of rehabilitation treatments that are designed to induce plastic changes to overcome impairments due to brain injury. For this purpose, music may be a suitable medium because it transmits visual, auditory, and motor information to a specialized brain network consisting of frontotemporoparietal regions.”

Free full text is available via PubMed Central.

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