|Eline de Ruite, Getty Images|
A study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging shows that lifelong musical training ÛÓ particularly when continued late in life ÛÓ can help overcome age-related hearing loss.
Researchers at Northwestern University’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory measured how the brains of young musicians, older musicians and non-musicians responded to auditory stimuli. They found that older musicians had a distinct neural advantage over young musicians and non-musicians.
Independent researchers say that these findings, in conjunction with earlier animal studies, support the idea that the brain can be trained to overcome, in part, some age-related hearing loss.
The results suggest that ÛÏintensive training even late in life could improve speech processing in older adults and, as a result, improve their ability to communicate in complex, noisy acoustic environments,Û Don Caspary, Ph.D., a researcher in the field of age-related hearing loss at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine said.