The Musician’s Brain

A research article in last month’s issue of Neuroscience revealed that trained musicians outperformed non-musicians in a word-remembering task:  How did they do it?  By recruiting extra brain resources from the visual cortex.  The musicians’ recruitment of the visual cortex for this non-visual task was attributed to,

“The long-term and demanding nature of musical training to use as much available neural resources as possible (Huang et al, 2010).”

As Oliver Sacks has written,

“Anatomists would be hard put to identify the brain of a visual artist, a writer, or a mathematician – but they could recognize the brain of a professional musician without a moment’s hesitation.”

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About the author

Sam McDougle

SAM MCDOUGLE is a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology and Neuroscience at Princeton University. His writing has appeared in Vice and The Atlantic.

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