Medical Mysteries of Music

Published on December 6th, 2017 | by Alan Cross

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Can You Pick Up Conversations in a Noisy Room? Then You May Be a Musician.

Some people are just better at hearing conversations no matter how noisy the party might be. But why? It could because they’ve got some kind of musical training. This is from Medical Express:

A brain imaging study by Dr. DU Yi from the Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and her collaborator Dr. Zatorre Robert from the Montréal Neurological Institute and McGill University has revealed that  might improve speech perception in noisy environments via enhanced neural foundation in bottom-up auditory encoding, top-down speech motor prediction, and cross-modal auditory-motor integration.

This study, titled “Musical training sharpens and bonds ears and tongue to hear speech better,” has just been published online in PNAS.

The study analyzed  activity measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of 15 musicians and 15 non-musicians, all on average 21 to 22 years of age, as they identified speech syllables against changing levels of background noise.

The whole story can be read here. Another reason to give your kids music lessons. (Via Tom)




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker.

In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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