Environmental Innovations viz musical stimulation driven Neuroplasticity is a panacea for many challenges in these tough VUCA times…and many more everyday innovations that are available to all of us. Hence nueroplasticity is an opportunity for even ordinary folks to become extraordinary by using commonsense cognitive stimulation & growth opportunities.
Music is a complex and multisensory form of enrichment that has a positive influence on neuroplasticity in several regions of the brain because it requires integration of audiovisual information as well as appreciation of abstract rules (Paraskevopoulos et al., 2012; Kuchenbuch et al., 2014). Magnetoencephalography measures with individuals with an average age of 26.45 found that the anterior prefrontal cortex played a central role and that the neuroplastic response was greater in musicians with long term training than was noted in those with short term training (Paraskevopoulos et al., 2014). After 4 months of piano lessons, people aged 60–84 years enjoyed improved mood as well as significant improvements in the cognitive skills of attention, control, motor function, visual scanning, and executive functioning (Seinfeld et al., 2013). A recent review (Benz et al., 2016) found music training associated with enhanced cognition in a variety of musical and non-musical skills “spanning from executive functions to creativity.”
Musical Reality for us at any age!
What this tells us is that we could learn playing a musical instrument or even learn singing – and these options are available online and can be done in a self-paced manner from the comfort of your home. And when your re-energise your brains and feel recharged to take on new challenges having grown your cognitive brainpower and creative abilities that will allow you to think better and perform better always
Music+physical exercise is a great neuroplasticity symphony!
Japanese individuals 65 and older enjoyed physical exercise with musical accompaniment for 1 h once a week completing 40 h in 1 year (Satoh et al., 2014). With each session the exercise intensity was gradually increased. Half of the group heard the music played in harmony with the exercise. The other half only heard percussion that kept the beat while the people read the lyrics without music while exercising. While both groups may have appreciated gains in psychomotor speed, only the music group had significant improvement in visuospatial function. These scientists believe that cognitive functioning in elders can be enhanced when music is combined with physical exercise.
To what extent is neurogenesis relevant to information processing? New brain cells in the dentate gyrus are essential for discriminating fine differences in experiences and sensory inputs (Jessberger and Gage, 2014). It is this awareness of differences in small details that picks up newness. It is during their sixth to eighth week that new neurons are more excitable than mature brain cells (Ge et al., 2007) permitting the plastic response of stimulated adult-born new brain cells while preserving existing neuronal function. This important period is when the per cent of new brain cells that survive and get integrated (Tashiro et al., 2007) can be influenced by intrinsic and extrinsic factors (Dranovsky et al., 2011). It is also when less strong exciting currents are essential to cause a plastic response such as survival, integration, memory, or long term potentiation. These new brain cells are also thought to hold associations between time-related experiences that may not be related in content like those that occur during memory flashbacks.
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