24 de juny de 2011

L'experiència musical millora la capacitat cognitiva:

Musical Experience and the Aging Auditory System: Implications for Cognitive Abilities and Hearing Speech in Noise
Alexandra Parbery-Clark; Dana L. Strait; Samira Anderson; Emily Hittner; Nina Kraus.
Much of our daily communication occurs in the presence of background noise, compromising our ability to hear. While understanding speech in noise is a challenge for everyone, it becomes increasingly difficult as we age. Although aging is generally accompanied by hearing loss, this perceptual decline cannot fully account for the difficulties experienced by older adults for hearing in noise. Decreased cognitive skills concurrent with reduced perceptual acuity are thought to contribute to the difficulty older adults experience understanding speech in noise. Given that musical experience positively impacts speech perception in noise in young adults (ages 18–30), we asked whether musical experience benefits an older cohort of musicians (ages 45–65), potentially offsetting the age-related decline in speech-in-noise perceptual abilities and associated cognitive function (i.e., working memory). Consistent with performance in young adults, older musicians demonstrated enhanced speech-in-noise perception relative to nonmusicians along with greater auditory, but not visual, working memory capacity. By demonstrating that speech-in-noise perception and related cognitive function are enhanced in older musicians, our results imply that musical training may reduce the impact of age-related auditory decline.

Font: Parbery-Clark A, Strait DL, Anderson S, Hittner E, Kraus N (2011) Musical Experience and the Aging Auditory System: Implications for Cognitive Abilities and Hearing Speech in Noise. PLoS ONE 6(5): e18082. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018082

Un estudi de la Universitat Northwestern mostra com la formació musical pot beneficiar a les persones més grans, compensant alguns dels efectes perjudicials de l'envelliment. Concretament, la formació musical permanent sembla conferir avantatges en la memòria i la capacitat d'escoltar converses en ambients sorollosos. Aquesta recerca es publica en la revista PLoS One. 
Van avaluar a 18 músics i 19 no músics, d'entre 45 i 65 anys, en relació a la seva capacitat per a escoltar en ambients sorollosos, a la seva memòria auditiva de treball, a la memòria visual de treball i al processament temporal auditiu. Els músics, que van començar a tocar un instrument als 9 anys o abans, i que sempre havien tocat un instrument al llarg de les seves vides, van superar al grup de no músics en tot excepte en la memòria visual de treball, on ambdós grups van mostrar una capacitat gairebé idèntica. Amb aquests resultats es va poder demostrar que l'experiència d'extreure sons significatius d'un context sonor i de recordar les seqüències de so, millora el desenvolupament de les habilitats auditives.