[Title inspired by the Seinfeld research into the origins of "War and
Music training, with its pervasive effects on the nervous system's
ability to process sight and sound, may be more important for
enhancing verbal communication skills than learning phonics,
according to a new Northwestern University study.
Musicians use all of their senses to practice and perform a
musical piece. They watch other musicians, read lips, and feel,
hear and perform music, thus, engaging multi-sensory skills. As
it turns out, the brain's alteration from the multi-sensory
process of music training enhances the same communication skills
needed for speaking and reading, the study concludes.
"Audiovisual processing was much enhanced in musicians' brains
compared to non-musician counterparts, and musicians also were
more sensitive to subtle changes in both speech and music sounds,"
said Nina Kraus, Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences
and Neurobiology and director of Northwestern.s Auditory
Neuroscience Laboratory, where the work was performed. "Our study
indicates that the high-level cognitive processing of music
affects automatic processing that occurs early in the processing
stream and fundamentally shapes sensory circuitry."
The nervous system's multi-sensory processing begins in the
brainstem, an evolutionarily ancient part of the brain previously
thought to be relatively unmalleable.
"Musicians have a specialized neural system for processing sight
and sound in the brainstem, the neural gateway to the brain,"
said Northwestern doctoral student Gabriella Musacchia, lead
author of the study. ...
Unrelated PS: yes, it's written "ewig," even if pronounced "evig." My
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