Cognitive advantage

21st September 2013 | Concerts, Daily Life, Inspirations | 1 comment

A doctor friend has sent me an excerpt from the current edition of the British Medical Journal in which their writer ‘Minerva’ reports:

‘Great composers have tended to die young, but great performing musicians often carry on getting better as they get older. An article in PLOS One (2013 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071630) asks whether older professional musicians have cognitive advantages. The investigators from Toronto compared professional musicians with non-musicians who were matched on age (mean age 60), education, vocabulary and general health. They found that in almost all tests of cognitive function, the musicians did better. Minerva particularly treasures the recordings of public performances which the Polish pianist Mieczyslaw Horszowski gave up to his 100th year. There is more cognitive function going on in them than most of us ever achieve.’ BMJ,2013;347:f5444


1 Comment

  1. steve

    Julian Bream at 80 in a recent Guardian article:

    How much are you playing these days? “Not at all. There’s nothing sad about not playing any more,” says Bream, who turned 80 in July. But in the next breath he adds: “The thing I feel a little annoyed about is that I know I’m a better musician than I was at 70, but I can’t prove it.”


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