Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Crossing the Corpus Callosum - Part 1

Last Saturday I went to a conference at Harvard on neuroscience, music, and healing. I will try to summarize what I got out of it into parts.

Currently her lab is researching the effect of "musical training on language processing and execution function in the typical and atypical developing children." Her findings are preliminary, and should not be generalized to the population.
  • Rapid auditory processing is the ability to hear subtile changes in auditory stimuli (ex: say, stay). Its believed that children who have language and reading imparements can't sequence 2 tones at rapid presentation rates.
  • Music acquisition skills and language have a positive correlation - verbal/memory skills, phoneme awareness, spelling and writing skills.
  • Hypothesis: children musician possess better auditory processing that children who are not musicians.
  • Executive functioning (E.F) - "the CEO of the brain" - responsible for self regulating behaviour, emotions, resist impulses and discipline. Being able to control yourself means you are less likely to commit to negative life outcomes (drop-out, crime). Do musicians show better E.F. skills compared to non musicians (adults)?
  • E.F. skills can be improved by musical training. Preliminary research shows that music skills may lead to improved verbal fluency, cognitive flexibility, verbal working memory.
Cool article "Creative Play Makes for Kids in Control"

Here is a video of a program called "Tune into Reading" used by Dr. Gaab, I thought was really cool.