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We tested whether experience playing a musical instrument was associated with lifetime change in cognitive ability. Participants were 366 older adults from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936, who had completed general cognitive ability assessments at ages 11 and 70 and reported their experience playing a musical instrument at age 82. This sample included 117 participants who had played a musical instrument, mostly to a beginner or intermediate level. There was a small, statistically significant, positive association between experience playing a musical instrument and change in general cognitive ability between ages 11 and 70, such that individuals with more musical instrument experience were likely to show greater gains in general cognitive ability. This association was reduced but remained statistically significant following adjustment for covariate variables (childhood and adulthood socioeconomic status, years of education, and disease history). These findings suggest that playing a musical instrument is associated with a long-term cognitive advantage.
|Number of pages||14|
|Early online date||28 Aug 2022|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 28 Aug 2022|
- musical training
- general cognitive ability
- longitudinal study
- older adults
FingerprintDive into the research topics of 'Experience of playing a musical instrument and lifetime change in general cognitive ability: Evidence from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
- 1 Finished
- 1 Poster
Experience Playing a Musical Instrument and Lifetime Cognitive Change: Evidence from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936Okely, J., Overy, K. & Deary, I. J., 21 Jun 2021.
Research output: Contribution to conference › Poster › peer-review
- 1 Types of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar
Musical Experience Across the Lifespan
Katie Overy (Speaker)7 Sep 2019
Activity: Other activity types › Types of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar