Various Training Methods Affect Different Parts Of Working Memory

1905 words - 8 pages

Looking closer at Einstein’s brain, scientists have found that Einstein had unusually patterned parietal lobes and a structural quirk in his brain, which is common in string players and linked to musical ability. (Falk, 2009). This finding demonstrates brain plasticity, the brain’s ability to change its structural and functional organization in response to incoming stimulation, (Wan and Schluag, 2010). Brain plasticity helps the brain develop and mature, learn skills and memory, as well as recover from injury and cope with sensory deprivation or environmental enrichment (wan, music making). Understanding brain plasticity is of interest to neuroscience as it provides a better understanding of not only the brain’s development, but also the brain’s behavior. Learning more about the brain will contribute to our knowledge of treatments of neurological and developmental disorders (Schlaug and other 2010,Wan and other2010). A good way to study the phenomena of brain plasticity is by looking at skill training through different life experiences, such as music training and meditation. Musical training and meditation are examples of training induced plasticity as they modify the brain (Wan and Schlaugh, 2010). Researchers have found that music training and meditation lead to the enhancement of working memory and affect different areas of working memory. Each type of training tackles a different component of working memory. Current research on music training and meditation suggest that meditation and music enhance the different types of working memory; therefore understanding the effects of music and meditation training will help us understand how working memory functions.
To investigate the effects of music training on working memory, several researchers have conducted studies analyzing music experts as well as musical novice’s brains and skills and proposed a connection between musical training and working memory. For example a study conducted by Roden et al, 2013 looks at the influence of instrumental musical training on working memory by training primary school children for one- and half school years and examining them on measures related to the phonological loop, the visuospatial sketchpad as well as the central executive. These children were tested after the musical training period and there were significant improvements on tests that related to phonological loop components. Specifically the rehearsal and storage aspect of phonological information such as tasks related to memorizing a large number of words and recalling them (One-syllable word span test) as well as on tasks measuring how accurately a participant can store unfamiliar sound sequences through the articulatory rehearsal mechanism (nonword recall test); which showed a transfer of skills. In another study, conducted by George and Coch, 2011 there was a positive correlation between years of music training and average phonological memory task scores.
The previous study shows a...

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