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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Integr. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnint.2019.00068

The Effects of Bimanual Coordination in Music Interventions on Executive Functions in Aging Adults

  • 1University of South Florida, United States

Music training programs have been shown to enhance executive functions in aging adults; however, little is known regarding the extent to which different types of bimanual coordination (i.e., fine and gross motor) in music instruction contribute to these outcomes. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of bimanual coordination in music interventions on cognitive performance in healthy older adults (60-80 years). Participants (N=135) completed motor measures and battery of standardized cognitive measures, before and after a 16-week music training program with a three hour practice requirement. All participants were matched by age, education, and estimate of intelligence to one of three training programs: piano training (fine motor); percussion instruction (gross motor), and music listening instruction (no motor control condition). Results of a Repeated Measures ANOVA revealed significant enhancements in bimanual synchronization and visual scanning/working memory abilities for fine and gross motor training groups as compared to music listening instruction. Pairwise comparisons revealed that piano training significantly improved motor synchronization skills as compared to percussion instruction or music listening. Results suggest that active music performance may benefit working memory, the extent of these benefits may depend upon coordination demands.

Keywords: music training, executive functions, piano training, mallet training, Music listening, older adults

Received: 05 Jul 2019; Accepted: 05 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Bugos. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Jennifer A. Bugos, University of South Florida, Tampa, United States, bugosj@usf.edu