I have been preparing for this massive lecture (1 ½ hours and don’t any of you say that is not difficult for me) and have been doing a great deal of research. Nina Kraus, PhD of the Northwestern University Neuroscience Laboratory gave a presentation recently at the American Academy of Audiology Marion Downs Lecture. You can catch the entire thing on You Tube if you look for Nina Kraus and Marion Downs Lecture. The first two parts of her lecture are on the brain and aging.

According to Dr. Kraus, they did a study where 50% of the individuals were given 8 weeks of brain training exercises through the original Posit Science Program called Brain Training, now BrainHQ and the control group was given 8 weeks, same amount of time, watching educational videos and answering questions at the end of each session. The brain study used was one that looked at the neurophysiology of the brain and the brain waves and synchrony of those brain waves. At the end of the study, there was no brain change in the control group, but the Brain Training group improved significantly. After 6 months, the controls were still at the same level and the Brain Training group improvements were stable.

The other interesting information was that musicians, meaning anyone who has ever played a musical instrument, have stronger more resilient brains that for  people who never got involved with music. It didn’t matter if you haven’t played for 20 years, the changes that were created in the brain were stable. These musicians understood better in noisy environments than both groups and processed faster. And one of the recommendations was it is never too late to resume playing or to learn to play an instrument.

I know this lecture is 90 minutes, but I would strongly encourage all of you to take a look. It has really changed my point of view about auditory processing and aging. And I am going to visit their lab in October and I can hardly wait.

If you want the lab website, it is https://www.soc.northwestern.edu/brainvolts/

The You Tube video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oofx61-MoLw