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Musical Training Could Boost Blood Flow To The Brain

A new study shows just 30 minutes of musical training can increase blood flow to the left hemisphere, the area of the brain that controls language.
Posted at 8:39 PM, May 13, 2014

We all know great music is good for the soul, but a new study suggests it may benefit the brain, too.

"Doctors have learned music and language share the same space in the brain. They say blood flow increases in the brain when you get musical training." (Via WGCL)

And apparently it doesn't have to be much musical training. The study, conducted by the University of Liverpool, says after just 30 minutes of musical training, researchers saw an increase in blood flow to the left hemisphere of the brain.

The left hemisphere of the brain controls language, among other things. (Via YouTube / Simon Olding)

One of the authors of the study said in a press release the really surprising finding is how quickly the change in blood flow can be brought about. 

"The areas of our brain that process music and language are thought to be shared. ... It was fascinating to see that the similarities in blood flow signatures could be brought about after just half an hour." (Via University of Liverpool)

The study had two major parts: first, a group of musicians and non-musicians were given music- and word-generation tasks. After measuring the brain activity of both groups, it showed the musicians brain activity were similar in both tasks but for non-musicians the brain activity for the two tasks was different. (Via YouTube / bennykazfilms)

But after just 30 minutes basic of musical training, brain activity began to look more alike. (Via Videezy.com)

The findings are similar to a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University on jazz musicians that show the brain interprets music and language in a similar way. 

The findings were presented at the British Psychological Society's Annual conference. It hasn't been published by a peer reviewed journal as of yet.