Their brains are processing a huge amount and variety of information in parallel, when musicians play instruments. Does this mean that their brains are processing information otherwise?
This is really a question presented by Eriko Aiba, an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Engineering and Informatics at the University of Electro- Communications in Tokyo, Japan. During the 172nd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and also the 5th Joint Assembly with Acoustical Society of Japan, being held Nov. 28-Dec. 2, 2016, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Aiba will present research that delves into the various ways the brain participates in music signal processing.
Aiba started learning to play the piano when she was five years of age, and quickly realized that musicians might be approximately split into two groups: sight readers and those who play by ear.
"When considering a human brain as a pc, playing a musical instrument requires the mind to process an enormous quantity and variety of information in parallel," described Aiba. They need to also adjust the sound strength and use of the sustaining pedal according to the output sound."
Such information processing is too complicated for a computer, so just do the brains of professional musicians handle such complex information processing?
One piece of the puzzle is the fact that pianists who are great at playing by ear will also be proficient at memorizing, as stated by the findings when it is get by them to the test of the group.
"Some were in a position to memorize almost the entirety of two pages of a complex musical score -- despite only 20 minutes of exercise," Aiba said. What this means is that auditory memory may be beneficial for memorizing music following short term exercise.
Additionally they discovered that "each musician has their own strategy -- even if it appears they are all playing the piano in exactly the same style," she added. "These strategies aren't completely different, yet, because most musicians have some things in common."
The group's findings expand well beyond professional musicians to pros within other areas who also practice exceptionally difficult every day to excel in their abilities.
"It is difficult to validate individual differences ... and the decision that 'the strategy depends on people' could not be presumed to be scientific research," said Aiba. "On the other hand, it might now be possible to categorize professional musicians based on their kind of prioritizing modality tips -- in terms of visual and auditory processing."
This work might help lead to research areas that are several researching performance and expertise. One, in particular, is language learning.
"To learn a language, many people prefer to read phrases aloud repeatedly -- joining auditory and movement advice. Others would rather compose phrases repeatedly -- joining visual and motion advice," Aiba described. "But some prefer to simply read -- visual information. They're all studying a language, but their brains are processing the information in different manners, determined by the strategy suitable to them."
It's going to take additional time to "disclose our brains' excellent strategy," Aiba noted, but nevertheless, it may lead to the creation of efficient, personal learning approaches later on.