Musicians are Less Likely to Experience Hallucinations

Musicians are Less Likely to Experience Hallucinations

Did you know that musicians are less likely to experience hallucinations? This is not a folk legend but it’s considered a scientific fact. This was supported by a small scientific study published in the Journal “Schizophrenia Research”. This relationship appears to be mediated by a brain region known as the “corpus callosum” (CC) – a thick band of nerves that connect two hemispheres of the brain.

In people with schizophrenia, this area was found to be compromised. The researchers from the University of Liverpool enrolled 38 healthy individuals with ages 18-63 to conduct this study. Each subject was evaluated on his/her propensity to hallucinate (based on Launay-Slade-Hallucination Scale) and musical aptitude (as determined by the Advance Measure of Music Audiation task). The participants underwent VRI scans for measurement of brain structures. “Corpus callosum” integrity was positively correlated with musical talent whereas hallucination proneness was associated with low integrity.  The musical experience strengthens interhemispheric impulses by increasing the microstructural integrity of the CC. Music might potentially contra-interact deficit observed in schizophrenia.

Psychiatric News, Jan.19, 2018:23

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