Research indicates high brain activity during music performance

Posted on: November 26, 2014

“Did you know that every time musicians pick up their instruments, there are fireworks going off all over their brain?” writes Anastasia Tsioulcas in Thursday’s (11/20) Deceptive Cadence blog at NPR. “That’s the launching point for a fantastic little video made by educator Anita Collins and animator Sharon Colman Graham for TED-Ed. What they explain is that while listening to music is beneficial, playing music is ‘the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout.’ What’s more: Neuroscientists have found that some of these aspects of mental work are different from any other activity studied, including playing sports or engaging in various creative pursuits. For teachers, TED-Ed has made a full, customizable lesson plan available on this fascinating topic and exciting research.” The video demonstrates technologies such as fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and PET (positron emission tomography) scanners, which show many more areas of study subjects’ brains lighting up when music is performed than when simply listening to music.

Posted November 26, 2014