There is an old musician` s joke which goes like this: goes “there are three kinds of drummers in the world—those who can count and those who can’t.” However, it turns out that there is yet another global divide: those who can drum and those who cannot. A recent study has shown that drummers have different brains than the rest, and this article focuses on the scientific research on the topic, an area of neuroscience and psychology.
Drummers,” notes Jordan Taylor Sloan at Mic, “can actually be smarter than their less rhythmically-focused bandmates.” Findings of a study done by a team of Swedish researchers (Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm) show “a link between intelligence, good timing and the part of the brain used for problem-solving.” As Gary Cleland writes in The Telegraph, drummers “might actually be natural intellectuals.”
Neuroscientist David Eagleman, a Renaissance researcher, discovered this in an experiment he did with various professional drummers at Brian Eno’s studio. Eno was the one who theorized that drummers have a specific mental makeup, and it turns out he was right: drummers` brains do differ from the rest. Eagleman’s test showed “a huge statistical difference between the drummers’ timing and that of test subjects.” Says Eagleman, “Now we know that there is something anatomically different about them.”
This Swedish study basically found a link between intelligence, good timing, and the part of the brain responsible for problem-solving. It was discovered that the drummers with the highest score were a; so better at keeping a steady beat.
Interestingly, a steady drummer is not only more intelligent and smarter than his/ her bandmates, but their gifts can be shared. Namely, a tight bean can transfer the natural intelligence to other individuals. Multiple studies done on the effects on rhythm on the brain have shown that experiencing a steady rhythm boosts cognitive function.
This difference can be quite annoying though, like the pain of having a sense of absolute pitch in an everlasting off-key world. Interestingly enough, drumming has a therapeutic value, offering a wide range of emotional and physical benefits known as “drummer’s high,” an endorphin rush which can be stimulated only by playing music. Additionally, a team of Oxford psychologists found that endorphin-filled act of drumming boosts positive emotions and causes people to gain interest in working together in cooperative way.
Top Headon refers to drumming as a primeval human activity in a short BBC interview. Mickey Hart, a former drummer, and Adam Gazzeley, are extremely hopeful regarding the science of rhythm. Hart, who has powered a light show with his brainwaves with his band claims that the power of rhythm moves crowds and helps bring Alzheimer`s patients to reality and the present moment.
The bottom line is that drummers` brain indeed differs from the brain of the rest of us. These people have been shown to be more intelligent, smarter, and with a better cognitive function. The best thing is that they and their rhythm positively affect those around them, too.