With research advancements taking over the era, a new study talks about the uses of art for crucial learning. According to the research, using background music cues, while doing a significant physical task, develops the brain.
Therefore, people who practiced a basic movement using music had an increased structural connectivity between the sound processing and movement controlling regions of the brain. The findings focus on white matter pathways - the wiring that enables brain cells to communicate with each other.
The study could have positive implications for future research into rehabilitation for patients who have lost some degree of movement control. For the experiment, thirty right-handed volunteers were divided into two groups, to learn a new task which involved sequences of finger movements with the non-dominant, left hand. One group learned the task with musical cues, while, the other group tried the task without music. After four weeks of practice, both groups of volunteers performed equally well, researchers at the University of Edinburgh found.
But using MRI scans, it was found that the musical group portrayed a significant structural increase with connectivity in the white matter tract that links auditory and motor regions on the right side of the brain. The non-music group reflected no change in their brain. Researchers hope that in the future with the help of a large number of participants for the study, they will examine whether music can really help in developing special kinds of motor rehabilitation programme or not.
Dr Katie Overy, who led the research team said: "The study suggests that music makes a key difference. We have long known that music encourages people to move. This study provides the first experimental evidence that adding musical cues to learning new motor task can lead to changes in white matter structure in the brain."
The interdisciplinary project brought together researchers from the University of Edinburgh's Institute for Music in Human and Social Development, Clinical Research Imaging Centre, and Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, and from Clinical Neuropsychology, Leiden University, The Netherlands. The results are published in the journal Brain & Cognition.