Musical education, not only at a young age but also into adulthood, could have a significant and lasting impact on the development of the brain as well as on speech awareness, a study published in the The Journal of Neuroscience reveals.
According to the researchers from Canada's Rotman Institute, practicing music before the age of 14 and carrying it on intensively for at least another 10 years could “shape” the brain, making it respond more efficiently to what it hears.
To verify their theory, the scientists gathered 10 musicians and 10 non-musicians aged between 55 and 75. They each heard various fragments of speeches — sometimes simple onomatopoeias — through headphones, while the researchers monitored their neuronal activity.
They found that the musicians' cerebral behavior was two to three times more efficient than the non-musicians', as their processing of the speech information was much more detailed and precise.
For the authors of the study, this shows just how important an early musical education can be in the prevention against neurodegenerative disorders later in life.