HomeMusic"Hope Is Not Lost": According To Experts, This Popular Hobby Is Wildly...

“Hope Is Not Lost”: According To Experts, This Popular Hobby Is Wildly Beneficial For Your Brain As You Get Older

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You may want to consider dabbling in music. The research and the experts who spoke to HuffPost were all pretty clear that playing musical instruments and singing can be beneficial for your long-term cognition.

If you’re ready to start some lessons and are open to the process, consider trying specific instruments. The study found that playing keyboard-based instruments, like the piano or organ, had the biggest benefit on memory and executive function, study author Anne Corbett told Newsweek, followed by brass and woodwind instruments. 

The social aspect of music may be beneficial for your brain, too. Corbett also told Newsweek that the singers in the study had better complex task completion as they aged. But the study noted that the benefits that come with singing may also have to do with the social connections that are formed when singing with a choir or in a group setting.

“Music doesn’t usually happen in isolation,” Fesharaki-Zadeh said. Think about it: Music is often played in a group, practiced with a teacher or performed for other people. That social interaction is one of those protective factors for brain health, he added.

Bottom line: You’re never too old to start learning and challenging your brain.

“Overall, it is recommended that people start building their cognitive reserve early in life,” Yadollahikhales said. “This can be achieved by playing music and games such as puzzles, reading books and being physically active … also, as mentioned in this study as well, higher education can affect cognitive reserve positively.”

Even if it’s been years or even decades since you’ve challenged your brain to something new, hope is not lost. “We’re never too old to learn, I think that’s a known concept,” Fesharaki-Zadeh said. Benefits can be seen whether you’re 65 or 18.

Neurogenesis, the forming of new connections and new cells in the brain, is often not as robust for someone in their mid-70s when compared to someone, say, learning at a new job in their mid-20s. But by learning music (or by learning anything new) you activate this process again, Fesharaki-Zadeh added.

“So, let’s say somebody doesn’t have dementia [and] they’re wondering what are the ways that they can protect their brains against dementia — music could be potentially a viable strategy because it does incorporate a lot of the other factors such as learning, emotional well-being, social connections ― and they’re all great for the brain,” Fesharaki-Zadeh said.

Content Source: www.buzzfeed.com

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