Saturday, March 6, 2010

Studies reveal that music is linked to the brains processing of words

The article in the Toledo Blade’s print edition dated February 21, 2010 from the associated press titled “Study reveals music carries brain power: People with impaired speech able to sing” offers an interesting scientific discovery that words and music are linked in the brain. The article describes cases in which music has assisted individuals with speech disorders.

The most interesting part of the article is the discovery that people suffering from loss of speech due to severe strokes on the left side of the brain are able to sing the words they wish to say. This point hits hard to home for me because both of my grandparents suffered from strokes. Although, deceased now, my grandpa could barely formulate the words he wanted to say. This caused him much frustration. I would be interested to see now after reading this article if he would have been able to sing. Unfortunately, this is too recent of a study to test it out on him.

The article reports that Nina Kraus, director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University said, “…studies show musical training enhances the brains ability to do other things.” This relates to the idea that people who play an instrument do better in academics. I agree with this theory because music challenges me in a different way than anything pertaining to academics. I think a large benefit of playing an instrument is the focus abilities I have acquired.

If music can be used as therapy when it comes to helping those with dyslexia or autism and those suffering from strokes, improving the accuracy of speech would be an enormous obstacle that could be conquered.


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