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Music and healthy ageing

Psychology researcher Judy Okely is exploring the possible connection between music and healthy ageing

Could music be the answer to keeping us sharp in old age?

For over 20 years now, Edinburgh psychologists have been studying why some people’s brains and thinking skills age better than others.

Edinburgh is home to one of the longest-running studies on human cognition: The Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 and 1936. They are a group of people now in their 80s, some in their 90s, who all took an IQ type test when they were 11. So for the people born in 1921 that was in 1932, and for the people born in 1936 that was 1947.  

Starting in 1999 and ever since 1500 of these people have been brought back for tests every three years to help our researchers get insights into healthy ageing. Dr Judy Okely is part of that team and has just started an ESRC-funded project. Professor Ian Deary (Director of Lothian Birth Cohorts) and Dr Katie Overy (Director of the Institute for Music in Human and Social Development) are also on the project team.

They are looking at the potential connection between musical experiences and healthy ageing in the brain.

Listen to Judy talk about this research project on music and healthy ageing.

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Related links

Judy Okely

Portraits of the Lothian Birth Cohort

Healthy mental ageing: the Lothian Birth Cohorts

Board games can protect thinking skills in old age

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