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The interesting connection between math and music

By Arvind Gupta , Special to the Vancouver Sun April 7, 2009 From the rich complexity of the Bach fugues to the catchy songs of the Beatles, music and mathematics overlap in all kinds of interesting ways. Beyond the basic uses of mathematics in music theory and notation (such as chords, time signatures, or dotted half-notes representing a count of three), music has also been the source of research in many areas of mathematics such as abstract algebra, set theory and number theory. Would you believe that research has shown that certain pieces of music end up being more popular and mainstream due to their ‘mathematical’ structure? For example, Pachelbel’s Canon in D — sure to be a top choice for brides again this summer…

Early Musical Training and White-Matter Plasticity in the Corpus Callosum: Evidence for a Sensitive Period

Christopher J. Steele1,2, Jennifer A. Bailey1, Robert J. Zatorre3, and Virginia B. Penhune1 +Show Affiliations 1Department of Psychology, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Canada H4B 1R6, 2Department of Neurology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, 04103 Leipzig, Germany, and 3Montreal Neurological Hospital and Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2B4 Author contributions: C.J.S., J.A.B., R.J.Z., and V.B.P. designed research; C.J.S. and J.A.B. performed research; C.J.S. analyzed data; C.J.S., J.A.B., R.J.Z., and V.B.P. wrote the paper. The Journal of Neuroscience, 16 January 2013, 33(3): 1282-1290; doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3578-12.2013 Abstract : Training during a sensitive period in development may have greater effects on brain structure and behavior than training later in life. Musicians are an excellent model for investigating sensitive periods because training starts early…

Musical Training Optimizes Brain Function

Musical training before age 7 can benefit brain function for a lifespan. Post published by Christopher Bergland on Nov 13, 2013 in The Athlete’s Way Neuroscientists are discovering multiple ways that musical training improves the function and connectivity of different brain regions. Musical training increases brain volume and strengthens communication between brain areas. Playing an instrument changes how the brain interprets and integrates a wide range of sensory information, especially for those who start before age 7. These findings were presented at the Neuroscience 2013 conference in San Diego. In a press briefing on November 11, 2013 Gottfried Schlaug, MD, PhD—who is an expert on music, neuroimaging and brain plasticity from Harvard Medical School—summarized the new research from three different presentations at the conference. These…

Music Training Improves Adolescent Brain Development Music training helps the teenage brain hone skills linked to academic success

Post published by Christopher Bergland on July 28, 2015 In a previous Psychology Today blog post, “Musical Training Optimizes Brain Function,” I wrote about a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience which reported that playing an instrument before age seven benefits brain structure and function throughout a person’s lifespan. A new study by Nina Kraus, PhD, and colleagues from Northwestern University reports that beginning music training as late as high school can improve the teenage brain’s response to sound, sharpen language skills, and improve academic performance. The July 2015 study, “Music Training Alters the Course of Adolescent Auditory Development (link is external),” was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. For this study, Kraus and colleagues recruited Chicago-area high school freshmen…

Early music lessons boost brain development

Date: February 12, 2013 Source: Concordia University Summary: Musical training before the age of seven has a significant effect on the development of the brain, showing that those who began early had stronger connections between motor regions -- the parts of the brain that help you plan and carry out movements. If you started piano lessons in grade one, or played the recorder in kindergarten, thank your parents and teachers. Those lessons you dreaded -- or loved -- helped develop your brain. The younger you started music lessons, the stronger the connections in your brain. A study published last month in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that musical training before the age of seven has a significant effect on the development of the brain, showing...

Practice doesn’t always make perfect (depending on your brain) Study fuels nature versus debate

  Practice doesn’t always make perfect (depending on your brain) Study fuels nature versus debate ~ www.ScienceDaily.com~ Date: July 28, 2015 Source: McGill University Summary: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? New research on the brain’s capacity to learn suggests there’s more to it than the adage that ‘practice makes perfect.’ A music-training study has found evidence to distinguish the parts of the brain that account for individual talent from the parts that are activated through training. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? New research on the brain’s capacity to learn suggests there’s more to it than the adage that “practise makes perfect.” A music-training study by scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -The Neuro, at McGill University and colleagues in Germany…