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Good Musicians Have Significantly Faster Reaction Times



Summary/Commentary:

Musicians may have more than just creative talent, a recent study suggestions that they may also have quicker reaction times.

This article originally appeared on I Fucking Love Science

On top of being immeasurably sexier than the average individual (which is practically verified by science), it looks like being a musician might have another benefit when it comes to their reaction times.

In a new study published in Brain and Cognition, researchers from the University of Montreal have assessed the reaction times of 19 non-musicians compared to that of 16 skilled musicians, including 8 pianists, 3 violinists, 2 percussionists, one double bassist, one harpist, and one viola player. The musicians had all started playing instruments before the age of 10 and had been trained for at least seven years. All but one were skilled at two or more instruments.

The test simply consisted of participants placing one index finger on a computer mouse and the other on a small box that vibrated intermittently. Within the room, there was also a speaker that burst out white-noise intermittently. When either the box vibrated, the noise rung, or both went off at the same time, they were asked to click the mouse, which registered their reaction times. Simple.

The musicians were consistently seen to be “significantly faster” for both multi-sensory and uni-sensory reaction times. “These results suggest for the first time that long-term musical training reduces simple non-musical auditory, tactile, and multisensory reaction times,” said lead author, doctoral student Simon Landry, in a statement.

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Read the full story at I Fucking Love Science





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