Music Improves Reaction Times

A study from the University of Montreal published in Brain and Cognition showed that musical training leads to faster reactions times. In the study, 16 musicians who played piano, violin, percussion, and cello and had started learning as children were compared to 19 nonmusicians. The subjects clicked a mouse every time they sensed a vibration or noise. The musicians performed an average of 30% better than those not trained in music.

Study lead author Simon Landry says the results suggest long-term musical training reduces simple nonmusical auditory, tactile, and multisensory reaction times. Possible implications are that musicians make better drivers and that musical training later in life could benefit older people whose reaction times naturally tend to get slower.

Neil is the former Online Editor for Making Music Magazine and tested his skill with tickling the ivories once, but since having been part of the team at Making Music, he might give it a second try.

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