Musical Training Gives the Brain an Advantage, Says New Study

A new study showed that musical training in general led to greater functional connectivity between the regions of the brain. The trial consisted of 153 female and male participants: 52 perfect pitch musicians, 51 non-perfect pitch musicians, and 50 non-musicians.

“Crucially, most of the effects were replicable in both musicians with and without absolute pitch when compared to non-musicians,” write the authors of the corresponding paper, who are neurologists at the University of Zurich and at Stanford. “However, we did not find evidence for an effect of [perfect] pitch on intrinsic functional or structural connectivity in our data: The two musician groups showed strikingly similar networks across all analyses.”

They also found that musical training at a young age produces stronger structural connections, connections that help distinct areas of the brain work together to perform complex cognitive tasks, which has important implications outside of musical education.

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