Brian May

A study has found that musicians are more efficient at processing information in general, which makes them — uh, us — better at identifying errors and mistakes.

The study, which was led by Dr. Ines Jentzsch of the University of St Andrews and published in the journal Neuropsychologia, also found that learning to play a musical instrument could also help to slow or even prevent ageing-related mental decline.

Dr. Jentzsch says the results “suggest that higher levels of musical training might result in more efficient information processing in general (indicated by faster overall speed across tasks without accuracy tradeoff), and confirms earlier reports indicating a positive link between mental speed and musical ability.”

The study also points to the benefits of music education in schools, and notes that in times of economic hardship, music education funds are often amongst the first to be cut. “This is particularly worrying given both anecdotal and limited research evidence suggesting that music can have strong positive effects on our physical as well as psychological functioning,” Dr. Jentzsch said.

For further reading:

Brian May Reaches for the Stars