Thursday, January 26, 2012

Diane Rehm - Language, Music and the Brain

I listened to this yesterday in the car on my way to work - it's a nice discussion worth listening to. Learning languages or how to play a musical instrument can slow cognitive decline and make other forms of learning much easier.
The Diane Rehm Show - Language, Music and the Brain

Wednesday, January 25, 2012
 
This undated handout photo provided by P. K. Kuhl, Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences and the LIFE Center, University of Washington, shows a nine-month-old Finnish girl listening to the sounds of English, Finnish and Mandarin Chinese while in a MEG machine. - AP Photo/P. K. Kuhl, Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences and the LIFE Center, University of Washington
This undated handout photo provided by P. K. Kuhl, Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences and the LIFE Center, University of Washington, shows a nine-month-old Finnish girl listening to the sounds of English, Finnish and Mandarin Chinese while in a MEG machine.

Learning new skills in adulthood may seem like a daunting task. Over time there is a gradual decline of the brain’s ability to absorb new information. But experts say, with the right tools and a few tricks, we can continue to grasp and retain information as we age. The process of learning a language or how to play a new instrument offers interesting insights into the challenge. Two experts join us to talk about how mastering new and complex skills differs as we age and what it takes to become a lifelong learner.

Guests

Gary Marcus - Professor of psychology, the director of the New York University Center for Language and Music, and author of "Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning."
Michael Erard - author of "Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners"
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