Brain Function Changes In Drummers Over Years Of Practice: Study

Health

Over years of practice, drummers appear to modify the way that the two sides of their brain communicate. Read here to know about the reason for playing drums.

Written By Brandon Fernandes | Mumbai | Updated On:
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Over years of practice, drummers appear to modify the way that the two sides of their brain communicate. A recent study conducted on long-time drummers suggested that they have different functional brain systems. It also suggests that people who play drums in their communicating tract have smaller yet thinner fibres between the two brain halves. Another result claims that their motor brain areas are structured more efficiently if an individual plays drums.

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What happens when playing an instrument?

The research was carried out by Dr Lara Schlaffke from the Bergmannsheil university clinic in Bochum and Dr Sebastian Ocklenburg, Associate Professor from the biopsychology research unit at Ruhr-Universitat Bochum and said that It has long been understood that playing a musical instrument can change the brain via neuroplastic processes. But no one had previously looked specifically at the behavioural pattern of the brains of drummers. While explaining the study, Lara Schlaffke also said that most people can only perform fine motor tasks with one hand and have problems playing different rhythms with both hands at the same time. Drummers can do things that are impossible for untrained people.

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As per research, 20 professional drummers were tested who had an average experience of 17 years in the profession and practise for more than ten hours a week. They examined them using various MRI imaging techniques and compared the data with measurements of 24 unmusical control subjects. The data also indicated that the drummers had fewer but thicker fibres in the connecting track between the brain hemispheres. This allowed them to exchange information between the hemispheres more quickly than the controls. Earlier studies also proved that looking at other types of musicians have shown that the brain adapts and changes in response to years of practice on musical instruments. In general, these studies have examined changes in cortical grey matter, which includes regions responsible for perception, memory, speech, decision making, and much more.

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