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Thursday, November 08, 2018

Musical learning and the brain | The Concordian

A new study by two Concordia researchers has uncovered some important findings about musical learning and cognitive functions, says Elise Martin, Author at The Concordian.

Photo: Graphic by @spooky_soda

Lucía Vaquero and Virginia Penhune, researchers in Concordia’s Department of Psychology, recently published a study in NeuroImage that reveals the link between the structure and size of white matter in the brain and the learning of melody and rhythm.

“We wanted to explore music learning in non-musicians, because there had been previous investigations linking structural connectivity to music learning and music practice, but [only] in musicians compared to non-musicians,” said Vaquero.

To do this, the researchers recruited non-musicians aged 18 to 35 years old in the Barcelona area. Participants completed a brain scanning session using an MRI scanner, then performed a series of musical tasks...

The experiment was performed in Spain because that’s where Vaquero was studying at the time. She said musical culture differs greatly from one place to another and thus in different countries, learning musical tasks could have been easier or more difficult for non-musicians. This does not invalidate the results of the experiment, since the participants’s musical experience was taken into account.  
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Source: The Concordian

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