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How playing the drums can improve brain structure and function

How playing the drums can improve brain structure and function

Researchers from the Ruhr-University Bochum have found that people who play drums regularly for years differ from unmusical people in their brain structure and function.

How playing the drums can improve brain structure and function

It has long been understood that playing a musical instrument can improve your brain structure and function but no one had previously looked specifically into drummers.

“Most people can only perform fine motor tasks with one hand and have problems playing different rhythms with both hands at the same time,” explained head researcher Dr Lara Schlaffke. “Drummers can do things that are impossible for untrained people.”

The results of the new study suggest that drummers have fewer, but thicker fibres in the main connecting tract between the two halves of the brain and their motor brain areas are organised more efficiently. This allows musicians to exchange information between the hemispheres more quickly than the controls.

But it’s not only drumming than can improve your brain, recent research from Northwestern University show that sports can too.

“No one would argue against the fact that sports lead to better physically fitness, but we don’t always think of brain fitness and sports,” said senior author Nina Kraus, the Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences and Neurobiology and director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory (Brainvolts).

The researchers found that playing sports can tune the brain to better understand one’s sensory environment leading to a quieter and healthier nervous system.

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