Do you ever find it difficult to concentrate because you have a hard time filtering background noise? This may be your ultimate solution.
A study conducted by Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory (Brainvolts) shows that taking part in sports can help minimize electrical noise in the brain.
Examples of such sporting activities include Hockey, Football and Soccer.
We usually don’t include contact sports in the list of activities that could improve brain function, mainly due to the fact that they have the potential to cause injury and permanent damage to the brain.
But in the absence of injury, contact sports can play an important role in improving the functionality of the brain and the nervous system.
What happens when you play?
Sports players learn to filter sound if they must make the right decision while playing.
As a player, you get to listen to your teammates, the coach and the noisy crowd, sometimes all of them at the same time. You do not need to stop and listen.
But the more you play, the easier it is for you to process information coming from the sidelines while doing what’s necessary with the football or the hockey stick.
Similar to Musicians – drummers in particular – a player’s brain is hit with sound waves but over time, they learn to filter: minimize irrelevant noise and make use of what’s needed.
Sport improves a person’s ability to filter unwanted sounds. Nina Kraus and her collaborators proved this when they examined the brain of 495 Northwestern male and female athletes and compared the findings with information gathered from non-athletes.
Kraus delivered speech syllables to participants using earbuds and measured the brain’s activity with the help of scalp electrodes.
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Kraus’ team compared the brain’s response to needed sound waves to its response to background noise. Athletes responded better to the needed sound waves than non-athletes.
Similarly, musicians and multilingual also display an increased ability to filter background electrical noise in the brain. But how they do it is slightly different from the way athletes do it.
The two brains work differently when filtering background noise: while a musician’s brain will amplify the needed sound waves, an athlete’s brain will diminish the background ‘static’ for you to collect the needed sound waves.
Using Music while Studying
Students who use music while studying really need a brain that is good at lowering background noise.
According to an article on the Northcentral University blog, certain kinds of background music can help you focus and study longer.
The author also pointed out that the genres of music you need when studying and the different ways each genre will affect your focus.
Be that as it may, some people would rather study without music in a quiet environment.
But whether there are lyrics or none at all, music can be a distraction to a musician while reading. For those that have not studied music, only music with lyrics can distract you but for a pianist or drummer, any form of instrumentals that includes your favorite instrument can be a distraction.
Find out what works best. Take part in sports to help your brain work better.