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Music affects on the brain | Neuro-patch
A recent paper identified genes that changed their expression as a result of music performance in trained musicians. (see citation below). There were a surprising number of affected genes, 51 genes had increased and 22 had decreased expression, compared to controls who were also trained musicians but were not involved in making or listening to music for the same time period. It is also impressive that this set of 73 genes has a very broad range of presumed functions and effects in the brain. Another interesting aspect is the overlap of a number of these genes with some that have been identified in song birds. This implies that the music/sophisticated sound perception and production has been conserved from a common ancestor of birds and mammals. It has been known for some time that musical training has a positive effect on intelligence and outlook – that it assists learning. Musical training changes the structure of the brain. Now scientists are starting to trace the biology of