Play an instrument and become more alert in life

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Toronto, Jan 11 (IANS) Playing a musical instrument does not only produce melodies but can make the elderly more reactive and alert in daily life, says a new study. According to the researchers from Université de Montréal, musicians have a faster reaction time to sensory stimuli than non-musicians have. "The more we know about the impact of music on really basic sensory processes, the more we can apply musical training to individuals who might have slower reaction times," said lead researcher Simon Landry. Playing an instrument also has implications for preventing some effects of ageing. "As people get older, for example, we know their reaction times get slower. So if we know that playing a musical instrument increases reaction times, then maybe playing an instrument will be helpful for them," Landry explained. In the study that involved 16 musicians and 19 non-musicians, the researchers found significantly faster reaction times with musicians for auditory, tactile and audio-tactile stimulations. "The idea is to better understand how playing a musical instrument affects the senses in a way that is not related to music," Landry added in a paper published in the journal Brain and Cognition.
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