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How does music affect intelligence?

How does music affect one's intellect?

Music is said to affect the intellect of humans in several different ways. Specifically, it is said to affect infants more than any other age group. Music can improve learning skills, test taking skills, concentration, heartbeat, and relaxation. Music has been proven to offer several benefits for infants, young children, young adults, as well as for adults.

With all of this in mind, how can one connect music with intellect? Many recent research studies focus on theoretically proving the way in which music improves cognitive thinking. These studies show that early learning experiences determine which neurons will connect with other neurons and which ones will die off. Connections between neurons (synaptic connections) are largely related to adult intelligence. They increase at the fastest rate during the first six years of a human life. Music training is said to develop synaptic connections that are related to abstract thought. For this reason, the number of music lessons given at ages six and younger are dramatically increasing.
The right hemisphere of a human brain serves to process information in a spontaneous or intuitive way.

For example, the way in which a person responds to the art of music is a form of an intuitive process of thinking. The left hemisphere of a human brain functions to process information in a linear or sequential way. Learning subjects such as Math or English are prime examples of this process. After using a brain scanning technique, scientists discovered that musicians had a 25% enlargement in the area of response in the right side of the brain. This enlargement was greater for musicians who began studying music at young ages. New born babies tend to use the right hemisphere before the left; they react to pitch and visual changes instantly before reacting to counting or words. Therefore, babies are exposed to music and rhymes.

Infants and adults respond to music in similar ways. Infants and adults were tested in order to examine any possible relationship between each group’s reaction upon hearing music. During the experiment, infants were found to immediately turn their heads towards the music when any was presented. Similarly, when the test was given to adults, they responded in the same manner. These tests show that the patterns of responses in both babies and adults are the same, concluding that the human brain reacts to pitch changes regardless of age....

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