In the musician’s brain, sometimes less is more

Remember how you were told as a kid that in order to truly master a skill, such as playing an instrument, you have to start young? While this is still a valid claim it is not the whole truth. Scientists have discovered that while intensive training increases gray matter in some areas of the brain, it also decreases gray matter in others. Recent studies show that as the brain becomes more efficient in some tasks, it actually uses fewer neurons for these tasks. So is there an ideal age to start practicing an instrument?

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