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Life Science

Music-lovers can create tracks with increasing ease.

Now, a study at Northeastern University has shown that music can stimulate the brain’s nerve pathways, having a positive impact on cognitive illnesses and dementia.

This is particularly true for music we choose ourselves, and which we listened to as teenagers.

In a recent test, cognitively healthy older adults were asked to create both an ‘energising’ and a ‘relaxing’ playlist.

Over eight weeks, they listened intently to their playlists for an hour a day, making a note of their feelings as they went.

A comparison of brain scans before and after showed that neural bonds had been strengthened. Particularly in regions responsible for hearing and rewarding.

Also helpful: this hearing aid.

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