A new study in Switzerland has found that playing and listening to music can slow the loss of gray matter in the brain, which delays cognitive decline. In some cases, playing and listening to music actually increased gray matter in areas of the brain responsible for cognitive function and also improved participants’ working memory. The six-month long study followed two groups of elderly adults— one that practiced playing music everyday, and one that listened to music everyday. The group that played music experienced higher results, but both groups ultimately delayed cognitive decline by limiting the loss of gray matter. In addition to supporting cognitive function, the study also found that the social benefits of music were critical in supporting the overall well-being and happiness of participants.
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