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Study: Music lessons may help slow mental decline

Researchers at Northwestern University say that music lessons not only teach discipline and persistence, they may also help slow mental decline in older people.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV/ABC) – Researchers at Northwestern University say that music lessons not only teach discipline and persistence, they may also help slow mental decline in older people.

Researchers looked at two groups of older people – those who took music lessons when they were young and those who did not.

They used medical imaging to peer into their brains while exposing them to certain sounds.

The brains of those with early musical training responded more quickly to sounds linked to speech.

The researchers said they noticed a slight difference indicating a quicker response, even if the subject had not touched an instrument in over 40 years.

Researchers say the small difference may point to benefits of early musical training for children as they grow older.

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