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Saturday, October 08, 2016

Music, Dance Boost Brain Power | Newsmax

"Learning either music or dance has the power to strengthen the brain, but in different ways – and to a magnitude even stronger than previously thought, a new study finds." notes Charlotte Libov.

Some studies have already shown how music training at a young age can improve various cognitive skills, but dance has yet to be used in a similar way, so researchers at Concordia University in Montreal set out to learn more.

They used high-tech imaging techniques to compare the effects of dance and music training on the white matter structure in the brain in experts in these two disciplines. They also used a control group, which had training in neight.

The researchers performed brain scans on two groups of people – one group that had studied music and dance, and a control group that had training in neither.

They found that the brains of dancers and musicians differed in many white matter regions, including sensory and motor pathways, both at the primary and higher cognitive levels of processing.

In particular, dancers showed broader connections of fiber bundles linking the sensory and motor brain regions themselves, as well as broader fiber bundles connecting the brain's two hemispheres -- in the regions that process sensory and motor information. In contrast, musicians had stronger and more coherent fiber bundles in those same pathways, the researchers say.
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Additional resources
"Dance and music training have different effects on white matter diffusivity in sensorimotor pathways."
Read the cited study.

Source: Newsmax

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