Dance and Music Evolve the Brain in Opposite Ways

From ancient cultures, we can see that dance and music is wonderfully prevalent. Nowadays, this traditional culture has been carried through into modern culture. Maybe because dancing with music is interesting, but recent findings demonstrate that music and dance can make significant neurological changes. This finding can be useful to patients that suffer any decrement of sensory and motor regions of the brain. In fact, music treatment has been part of medical jobs that any medical staff should give to their patient for relaxing purpose.

Earlier studies have shown that music training from a young age can make changes to pathways within the brain. This study enforces that consistency in dancing or playing music is needed in developing human brain. Although both skills involve intense training, dance focuses on integrating visual, auditory, and motor coordination, whereas musicianship primarily concentrates on auditory and motor information.

Imaging Artist’s Brain

By using an advanced imaging technique called diffusion tensor imaging, the pathways that were most affected were bundles of fibers that link sensory and motor regions of the brain and the fibers of the corpus callosum that run between the hemispheres. While dancers have broader sets of connections; these same connections were stronger, but less diffuse, and showed more coherent fiber bundles.

Due to this, according to Giacosa, dance and music training affect the brain in opposite directions, increasing global connectivity and crossing of fibers and dance training, and strengthening specific pathways in music training.

The differences observed between the two maybe because dancers train their whole body which encourage fibers to cross over and increase in size, while musicians tend to train their body on specific parts such as the fingers or mouth which trigger smaller cortical representations in the brain.

From this finding, nowadays, dance and music therapy is analyzed for its potential use to treat Parkinson and autism diseases.


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