Playing the Drums Found to Cause Changes in the Brainadmin
According to the results of a recent study from researchers at Ruhr-University Bochum, “ people who play drums regularly for years differ from unmusical people in their brain structure and function,” according to a press release issued by the university.
While it’s long been understood that playing musical instruments can change the brain, this is the first study that looked specifically at drummers. “Most people can only perform fine motor tasks with one hand and have problems playing different rhythms with both hands at the same time,” Lara Schlaffke explained. “Drummers can do things that are impossible for untrained people.”
The team of researchers tested 20 professional drummers who have played their instruments for an average of 17 years and currently practice more than 10 hours a week. They then compared the MRI images of these drummers against 24 unmusical control subjects. The clearest difference between these two groups was in the front part of the corpus callosum – the area of the brain that connects the two hemispheres of the brain and is responsible for motor planning. Drummers had fewer, but thicker fibers connecting the brain hemispheres. “This allows musicians to exchange information between the hemispheres more quickly than the controls,” the release reads.
Read the full study in Brain and Behavior here.