How Playing the Drums Changes the Brain


Portrait of a red-haired emotional man playing drums and cymbals and holding a stick. isolated on a dark background

Many years of playing the instrument has positive effects on the brain.

The cerebral functioning and brain structure of people who often play drums vary from those who do not play musical instruments. A research conducted by esteemed analysts from Bochum reviewed the components of the brain and deduced that they had few sturdy filaments located in the first connecting track that bridges the two halves of the brain. The motor brain regions found in their encephalon are more coherently assembled. It was the inference made by the team led by Dr. Lara Schlaffke from Bergmannsheil University clinic located in Bochum and Dr. Sebastian
Ocklenburg, Associate professor in the biopsychology study department at Ruhr-Universitat, Bochum pursuing the research of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Their findings were issued in the Brain and Behaviour Journal, which was available online on 4 th December 2019.

Playing music can be very beneficial for humans, it is not only one of the major sources of pleasure and entertainment, but it has biological advantages too. The neurological gain attained from playing different musical instruments and expending the mental energy in delving into the
rhythm, or the tune can significantly improve one’s cognitive performance. Playing music can also encourage neuroplasticity to avert the occurrence of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Now, a research team from Germany has unveiled the neurological merit of playing musical instruments, especially drums. Earlier, the impact of music was not studied individually on drummers Sarah Friedrich, the author of a bachelor’s thesis, shared her insights, and said that musicians
develop a visible difference in their brain structures and neuroplastic processes if they regularly play musical instruments. She highlighted how her no researcher, before this study, explicitly studied the impact of playing drums on the brain’s activity. Lara Schlaffke explains how the majority of musicians could efficiently perform motor tasks with one hand only, and they face difficulties while playing dissimilar cadences simultaneously with
both hands. Unlike them, drummers are capable of synchronizing different rhythms and play tunes that most untrained musicians cannot.
Brain scans, drummers Vs. musical individuals The research group envisioned to examine new understandings of the coordination of intricate
motor systems in the brain. They could study these by distinguishing the variations caused in the brain’s activity due to playing drums. An experiment was conducted to prove the hypothesis. For this purpose, 20 proficient drummers, with 17 years of experience playing drum for 10 hours a week, were included in the test. The researchers monitored their brain functioning via different MRI imaging procedures. It allowed them to comprehend better changes in the structure and behavior of the brain. The documented results were collated with the data of 24 unmusical
individuals who had no prior aptitude in music. The recruited unmusical people were also asked to play drums, and their brain functioning was observed similarly. The 24 individuals were part of a controlled experiment to improve the accuracy and precision of the data collected. The scans collected by MRI helped the analysts to visualize the brain activity and compare it. These neuroimaging techniques showed the changes in brain activation when a function such as tapping or any other motor task is performed.

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