Does Music Build Brains?
A new issue of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences takes a closer look at how music evolved and how we respond to it and the role of music in cognitive growth.
Researchers believe that animals such as birds, dolphins and whales make sounds analogous to music out of a desire to imitate each other. This ability to learn and imitate sounds is a trait necessary to acquire language and scientists feel that many of the sounds animals make may be precursors to human music. (Reminiscent of Aslan the Lion)
In another surprise, scientists found more grey matter in the auditory cortex of the right hemisphere in musicians compared to nonmusicians. Listening to classical music, particularly Mozart, is thought to enhance performance on cognitive tests. Use of music to enhance memory suggests that recitation enhances the coding of information by activating neural networks in a more united and thus more optimal fashion.