Music and executive function in adolescents

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Robertson, Frank
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Neuroscience
Music is an incredibly complex and beautiful activity, which involves nearly every cognitive function. There is evidence to suggest that musical training in children and adult musicians is associated with an improvement in several Executive Functions (EF). This thesis examined whether those associations persisted during adolescence, and whether there is a relationship between time spent in musical training and adolescents EF. Adolescents ages 14-18 completed a subjective survey of EF as well as a battery of objective EF tasks. They also completed questionnaire detailing their musical experience. Adolescent musicians were found to have improved inhibition relative to non-musicians and inhibition was found to be correlated with musical practice time. No other elements of EF were found to be associated with musical training. These findings suggest that the impact of musical training on executive functions is related to how similar the neuropsychological assessment is to the musical training in question.
Attention , Cognitive learning , Executive functions (Neuropsychology) , Memory , Problem solving , Teenagers