Can musical training make you smarter?
Maybe so. Researchers have found that there's a strong correlation between musical training for children and their mental abilities.
According to researcher Laurel Trainor, director of the Institute for Music and the Mind at McMaster University in West Hamilton, Ontario, children with some music training showed larger brain responses on sound recognition tests. Her research suggests that musical training modifies the brain's auditory cortex.
The benefits of musical training aren't limited to improved sound recognition skills, though.
According to Trainor, even a year or two of music training leads to enhanced levels of memory and attention, when measured by tests that monitor electrical and magnetic impulses in the brain.
"Musical training (but not necessarily passive listening to music) affects attention and memory," says Trainor, "which provides a mechanism whereby musical training might lead to better learning across a number of domains.".
If Trainor is right, then people that learn musical instruments at an early age should be amarter than the average person.
What do you think? Are musicians smarter than average?