Playing an Instrument Is Linked to Better Cognition

From strumming a guitar next to a campfire to entertaining guests with a piano piece at a formal dinner, being able to play a musical instrument is unquestionably rewarding. Yet, evidence suggests that the rewards go far beyond the elation of performing well in front of others—those who play instruments have often been found to perform better on cognitive tests too.

Enhanced cognition is well-known to be linked to a range of positive life outcomes such as getting a better job and enjoying improved health. However, it has remained unclear whether these enhanced cognitive skills are just temporary. New research published in Psychological Science suggests that the benefits of musical instruments remain for decades.

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