Image via WikipediaMusicians are better than non-musicians at recognizing speech in noisy environments. Musicians demonstrated faster neural timing, enhanced representation of speech harmonics, and less degraded response morphology in noise. That is to say, they were more effective communicating in noisy environments. “Converting key elements that comprise speech sounds–consonants, syllables, timing and harmonics–was maintained with greater fidelity in musicians despite the disruptive influence of background noise,” said lead researcher Nina Kraus, Hugh Knowles Professor at and director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory.
Music triggers changes in the brainstem as well as in the cortex which means that music training may not only improve a person’s ability to decipher different tones but also enhances reading and speech functions, because the brain stem is a pathway for both music and language.
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