Musician’s Reaction Times Trump Those of Non-Musiciansadmin
Reserachers from the University of Montreal have recently published a study in Brain and Cognition which 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, according to IFLScience.com. All of the musicians had started playing instruments before the age of 10 and had been trained for at least 7 years. All but one were skilled on 2 or more instruments.
The test was simple: place one index finger on a computer mouse and the other on a small box that vibrated intermittently while in a room with a speaker that intermittently burst out white noise. When the box vibrated, the noise rung, or both events happened simultaneously, participants were asked to click the mouse. “The musicians were consistently seen to be ‘significantly faster’ for both multi-sensory and uni-sensory reaction times.”
According to the lead author of the study, doctoral student Simon Landry “These results suggest for the first time that long-term musical training reduces simple non-musical auditory, tactile, and multi-sensory reaction times,” according to a statement. “The idea is to better understand how playing a musical instrument affects the senses in a way that is not related to music,” he said. “The more we know about the impact of music on really basic sensory processes, the more we can apply musical training to individuals who might have slower reaction times.”