As reported by Kimberly Hiss in this month’s issue of Reader’s Digest, a rich new area of science is analyzing which healthy habits best keep our mind and memory minimally affected by aging. A part of this up-to-date research shows how listening and playing music can boost our cognitive function.
Playing or listening to music can:
- Activate the motor cortex by touching a piano key or guitar string
- Activate the auditory cortex when hearing the notes you make
- Activate the emotional center (limbic system) when feeling moved by a beautiful passage
“Circuits and networks are stimulated by these activities, which help keep the brain healthy,” says Dr. Kenneth S. Kosik, MD, co-director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Additionally, older adults who had at least ten years of musical experience did better on cognitive tests, according to a 2011 Emory University study.
So what does this mean for all of us 40 and over? Get out that old guitar, tune-up the piano, and start pickin’ and grinnin’ !
Reader’s Digest, Sept. 2016