Monday, May 11, 2009

Polls Archive 38 - Do musicians have more empathy?

A direct link to the above video is at

Poll 38 - "Learning to play a musical instrument can rewire your brain in ways that make you more empathetic, more sensitive to other people's emotions." Poll ended April 27 2009. 91% agreed while the remainder disagreed.

This poll was created as a companion to a series of blogs created in March that focused on empathy, and in particular an entry called "The Musician", in which I quoted from an article written by Hazel Muir which appeared in the March 5th edition of New Scientist magazine:

Musicians are fine-tuned to others' emotions

Musical training might help autistic children to interpret other people's emotions. A study has revealed brain changes involved in playing a musical instrument that seem to enhance your ability to pick up subtle emotional cues in conversation.

"It seems that playing music can help you do all kinds of things better," says Nina Kraus from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. "Musical experience sharpens your hearing not just for music, but for other sounds too."

To read a longer excerpt from the article, please refer back to my blog entry The Musician. Based upon the above poll results, the idea that learning to play a musical instrument might heighten a person's ability to feel empathy seems to have already "struck a chord" with visitors to this blog, so I'll not belabor the point here. For further reading, here's a collection of some of my previous blog entries where we explored how empathy fits in with this way of visualizing reality:

Are Animals and Kids More Fifth-Dimensional?
Local Realism Bites the Dust
The Big Bang and the Big O
The Comedian
The Musician
Where Are You?
Illusions and Reality

To finish, here's a song about vibrations, entrainment, and empathy: "Positive Vibes".

A direct link to the above video is at

Next: Polls Archive 39 - Can Memories Be Transplanted?

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