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      Do Musicians Have Better Mnemonic and Executive Performance Than Actors? Influence of Regular Musical or Theater Practice in Adults and in the Elderly


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          The effects of musical practice on cognition are well established yet rarely compared with other kinds of artistic training or expertise. This study aims to compare the possible effect of musical and theater regular practice on cognition across the lifespan. Both of these artistic activities require many hours of individual or collective training in order to reach an advanced level. This process requires the interaction between higher-order cognitive functions and several sensory modalities (auditory, verbal, visual and motor), as well as regular learning of new pieces. This study included participants with musical or theater practice, and healthy controls matched for age (18–84 years old) and education. The objective was to determine whether specific practice in these activities had an effect on cognition across the lifespan, and a protective influence against undesirable cognitive outcomes associated with aging. All participants underwent a battery of cognitive tasks that evaluated processing speed, executive function, fluency, working memory, verbal and visual long-term memories, and non-verbal reasoning abilities. Results showed that music and theater artistic practices were strongly associated with cognitive enhancements. Participants with musical practice were better in executive functioning, working memory and non-verbal reasoning, whereas participants with regular acting practice had better long-term verbal memory and fluency performance. Thus, taken together, results suggest a differential effect of these artistic practices on cognition across the lifespan. Advanced age did not seem to reduce the benefit, so future studies should focus on the hypothetical protective effects of artistic practice against cognitive decline.

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          Cognitive reserve.

          The concept of reserve has been proposed to account for the disjunction between the degree of brain damage and its clinical outcome. This paper attempts to produce a coherent theoretical account the reserve in general and of cognitive reserve in particular. It reviews epidemiologic data supporting the concept of cognitive reserve, with a particular focus of its implications for aging and dementia. It then focuses on methodologic issues that are important when attempting to elucidate the neural underpinnings of cognitive reserve using imaging studies, and reviews some of our group's work in order to demonstrate these issues.
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            Whitepaper: Defining and investigating cognitive reserve, brain reserve, and brain maintenance

            Several concepts, which in the aggregate get might be used to account for "resilience" against age- and disease-related changes, have been the subject of much research. These include brain reserve, cognitive reserve, and brain maintenance. However, different investigators have use these terms in different ways, and there has never been an attempt to arrive at consensus on the definition of these concepts. Furthermore, there has been confusion regarding the measurement of these constructs and the appropriate ways to apply them to research. Therefore the reserve, resilience, and protective factors professional interest area, established under the auspices of the Alzheimer's Association, established a whitepaper workgroup to develop consensus definitions for cognitive reserve, brain reserve, and brain maintenance. The workgroup also evaluated measures that have been used to implement these concepts in research settings and developed guidelines for research that explores or utilizes these concepts. The workgroup hopes that this whitepaper will form a reference point for researchers in this area and facilitate research by supplying a common language.
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              Working memory: looking back and looking forward.


                Author and article information

                Front Hum Neurosci
                Front Hum Neurosci
                Front. Hum. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                15 September 2020
                : 14
                : 557642
                UNICAEN, PSL Research University, EPHE, INSERM, U1077, CHU de Caen, Cyceron, Neuropsychologie et Imagerie de la Mémoire Humaine, Normandie Université , Caen, France
                Author notes

                Edited by: Marta Olivetti Belardinelli, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

                Reviewed by: Natasha Sigala, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, United Kingdom; Alexandra Parbery-Clark, Swedish Medical Center, United States

                This article was submitted to Cognitive Neuroscience, a section of the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

                Copyright © 2020 Groussard, Coppalle, Hinault and Platel.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 30 April 2020
                : 18 August 2020
                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 5, Equations: 0, References: 74, Pages: 11, Words: 0
                Original Research

                music, theater, practice, cognition, aging, lifespan


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